Make your Home Among Strangers

Make your Home Among Strangers

Book - 2015
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When Lizet--the daughter of Cuban immigrants and the first in her family to graduate from high school--secretly applies and is accepted to an ultra-elite college, her parents are furious at her decision to leave Miami. Just weeks before she's set to start school, her parents divorce and her father sells her childhood home, leaving Lizet, her mother, and Leidy--Lizet's older sister, a brand-new single mom--without a steady income and scrambling for a place to live. Amidst this turmoil, Lizet begins her first semester at Rawlings College, distracted by both the exciting and difficult moments of freshman year. But the privileged world of the campus feels utterly foreign, as does her new awareness of herself as a minority. Struggling both socially and academically, she returns to Miami for a surprise Thanksgiving visit, only to be overshadowed by the arrival of Ariel Hernandez, a young boy whose mother died fleeing with him from Cuba on a raft. The ensuing immigration battle puts Miami in a glaring spotlight, captivating the nation and entangling Lizet's entire family, especially her mother. Pulled between life at college and the needs of those she loves, Lizet is faced with difficult decisions that will change her life forever.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, ©2015
ISBN: 9781250059666
Branch Call Number: CRUCET
Characteristics: 388 pages ; 25 cm


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Oct 10, 2019

book burning

Oct 26, 2015

This story is so poignant I wonder if the author took this story from her own life. Creating a Cuban- American girl who went to an academically low-achieving high school yet managed to get into a challenging college program far from her home in Miami sounds like a Cinderella story. Perhaps it is except there were more impediments to success than a wicked stepmother. Rich white college classmates, a tough boy Miami boyfriend, divorced parents, an unmarried sister with a baby, and a mother who gets too emotionally tied to the Elian Gonzalez story and nearly being kicked out of college her first semester because of plagiarism, make Lizet a most engaging and memorable protagonist. I was despairing her choices 3/4th of the way through, but spunky, original Lizet proved me wrong! Hurray. I agree with several other reviewers. This is a must-read book.

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