Author: Megan Giddings
Publisher: Amistad/Harper Collins
Publication Date: March 24, 2020
Book Description: A startling debut about class and race, Lakewood evokes a terrifying world of medical experimentation—part The Handmaid’s Tale, part The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
One of The Millions’ Most Anticipated Reads (The Great First Half 2020 Books)
When Lena Johnson’s beloved grandmother dies, and the full extent of the family debt is revealed, the black millennial drops out of college to support her family and takes a job in the mysterious and remote town of Lakewood, Michigan.
On paper, her new job is too good to be true. High paying. No out of pocket medical expenses. A free place to live. All Lena has to do is participate in a secret program—and lie to her friends and family about the research being done in Lakewood. An eye drop that makes brown eyes blue, a medication that could be a cure for dementia, golden pills promised to make all bad thoughts go away.
The discoveries made in Lakewood, Lena is told, will change the world—but the consequences for the subjects involved could be devastating. As the truths of the program reveal themselves, Lena learns how much she’s willing to sacrifice for the sake of her family.
Provocative and thrilling, Lakewood is a breathtaking novel that takes an unflinching look at the moral dilemmas many working-class families face, and the horror that has been forced on black bodies in the name of science.
Rating: 3 stars
Review: Part Get Out, part The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, this book attempts to take on race and class in the form of horror story. While the premise is solid, it unfortunately feels a little bit stale at this point with other stories in the media in recent.
Lena is a struggling student. Her grandmother has recently passed away, and her mom who has always had issues is a problem for her. Lena is responsible for unpaid medical bills now and is really feeling the stress of her situation. One day she receives a letter asking if she is interested in joining a research study. She will have housing and a good salary. She is so desperate ,she leaves school and moved to Michigan to take this opportunity.
What happens next is quite a horror show. The testing they do to Lena and others in the study are just ridiculous. Changing eye colors, teeth falling out and so much other. This drives Lena and other to realize what they are really willing to give up for money.
This is an interesting book that I think would be wonderful for book clubs as there is a lot to discuss outside of this horrible medical testing. The author gives us lots of insight through diary snip-its and conversations with family and friends. I definitely think this is worth reading.
Thank you NetGalley and Amistad for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.