Make Your Home Among Strangers


Jennine Capó Crucet

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Make Your Home Among Strangers Themes

Themes and Colors
Home Theme Icon
Isolation Theme Icon
Immigration and Assimilation Theme Icon
Familial Duty and Betrayal Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Make Your Home Among Strangers, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.


The central theme at the heart of Jennine Capó Crucet’s Make Your Home Among Strangers is that of questioning what constitutes—and what can become—a “home.” As Lizet Ramirez, the daughter of Cuban immigrants, prepares to leave her hometown of Miami for her first year at the prestigious Rawlings College in New York, her home life crumbles: the house she grew up in is sold, her parents suddenly divorce, and her family scatters. At college…

read analysis of Home


The majority of the characters in Make Your Home Among Strangers struggle with intense feelings of isolation. Cultural isolation, physical isolation from loved ones, emotional isolation, and intellectual isolation are just a few of the types of loneliness and seclusion that Lizet and her family reckon with as the novel unfolds. As Lizet, the daughter of Cuban immigrants, searches for a way to end her own feelings of isolation—and watches her family do the same—she…

read analysis of Isolation

Immigration and Assimilation

The question of what it means not just to immigrate to a new country, but to assimilate into the fabric of one, is a central part of the narrative of Make Your Home Among Strangers. Lizet, who was born in America, struggles in her hometown of Miami with feelings of being not Cuban enough; at Rawlings College, though, as one of the few students of color there, Lizet’s “Cuban-ness” (and therefore, on the…

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Familial Duty and Betrayal

As Lizet Ramirez grows over the course of the novel, which charts her first year in college, her ambitions expand. Her first year at Rawlings College in New York tests and tries her, but she ultimately encounters teachers such as Professor Kaufmann (and friends such as Ethan) who take a vested interest in her success and attempt to help her seize her own potential. Lizet, a first-generation college student and the daughter of Cuban…

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