by Megan Giddings
NPR Book of the Year 2020
- NPR Book of the Year 2020
- Electric Literature: One of 55 Books by Women and Nonbinary Writers of Color to Read in 2020
- Lit Hub & The Millions: Most Anticipated Books of 2020
- Ms. Magazine: Anticipated 2020 Feminist Books
- Refinery29: Books by Black Women We are Looking Forward To Reading
- One of The Millions’ Most Anticipated Reads of 2020
- Essence’s Pick
- Glamour’s Must Read
- Ms. Magazine’s Anticipated Read of 2020
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.
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.
“Megan Giddings’ debut novel Lakewood is reminiscent of Jordan Peele’s terrifying film Get Out.” — Essence
“Both profoundly poetic and utterly compelling, Lakewood presents an intimate portrait of the physical and psychological trauma caused by the use of Black people as test subjects for medical experiments in the United States and powerfully connects it to the broader legacy of environmental racism.” — Ladee Hubbard, author of The Talented Ribkins