Review: Make Your Home Among Strangers

Make Your Home Among Strangers

Make Your Home Among Strangers
By Jennine Capò Crucet
Picador, 9781250094551, July 2016, 416pp.

The Short of It:

A young woman is pulled between her family at home, her studies at school, and the political turmoil over the forcible removal of a young Cuban boy and his return to his father back in Cuba.

The Rest of It:

Many of you may recall the story of Elián González. He was the center of an international custody battle back in 2000. Make Your Home Among Strangers includes a fictionalized account of his story in the form of Ariel Hernandez.

Lizet is the first in her family to attend college but when she announces her acceptance, she is met with disappointment. Her sister just found out she is pregnant and Lizet’s mother was just left by her husband and the house has been sold out from under her. No one in the family is happy about this turn of events but Lizet is curious about a life outside of what she knows and goes, leaving some bad feelings behind.

At school, Lizet struggles. The schooling she’s had prior to college did not prepare her for the rigorous work that is expected of her. Her ties to home and the guilt she has over not helping her sister during this time, cause her to visit home often which confuses her more.

In the midst of all this, Lizet’s mother has joined with others to protest the removal of Ariel Hernandez. He lost his mother leaving Cuba and they feel that since he made it to the US, that he should be allowed to stay but the possibility of his removal looms large as the rest of the story unfolds.

This was a quick, one-two punch of a read. Crucet’s writing is genuine and thoughtful. Lizet is a very believable character. Not perfect, but trying. My discussion group chose this book for next week’s discussion. I had to go back to read up on Elián González because I had forgotten a lot of the particulars. Do you remember his story?

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Sunday Matters: Blur

Sunday Matters

I’ve hit a wall. I am so tired of looking at every corner of this house. The weather has been nice and I could take some of my work outside but just five minutes outside and I am attacked by bugs. Not a lot of bugs out there but they find me. I have blood that they apparently like. My days are all blurred together.

Right Now:

In a little bit, I will try to connect with my youth group but my connection is not great right now.

This Week:

I would like to put together a summer reading list even though I am horrible at reading from a list. I just like the idea of summer reading. Plus, things are opening up again which means we will be launched into all things summer soon enough.

Hello, Memorial Day! Almost here. Came up so fast. You have to BBQ something on Memorial Day, right? What’s your go-to meal for the day? Hot dogs? Burgers? Something more complex? I always enjoy a good burger. Not sure what we will have because it will mean a last minute trip to the market and who knows what is available? Meat has been iffy and when you can find it you are sometimes limited to only one package which doesn’t always work for a family.


I am reading this book for a discussion.

Make Your Home Among Strangers


We started the second season of Broadchurch and I am liking it even more than the first season. I recorded the new Pet Sematary and the second chapter of IT, which I haven’t seen yet. I suppose I should give them a look being a King fan.

New Things I’ve Tried:

It’s not new but it has to happen these days. Unfollow, Unfriend, and Block have become necessary on Facebook and have been used heavily this past week. This pandemic is unpleasant enough already. Why deal with ridiculous comments from people I thought I knew?

Grateful for:

  • Short road trips even if we stay in the car the entire time
  • Family meal offerings from local restaurants
  • That the little used bookstore by my house opened for curbside service!

There is a lot that it still unknown but here we are, at the end of May (almost) and we never thought we’d make it. We did it!! I hope you all remain well and that those of you who were not feeling great are feeling better now.

Chatting with friends about books and life…