Megan Giddings’ Lakewood is the fascinating, unsettling story of a young woman who – in desperate need of money to support her family after her grandmother dies – opts into a mysterious medical experimentation program.
Lena quickly learns that Lakewood is not nearly the above-board medical group she hoped it would be. She and her fellow subjects are required to take experimental, potentially dangerous drugs, but they are paid extremely well. She knows she will never be able to crawl out from under the debt if she doesn’t stick it out, but how much of her sense of self, her autonomy, and her health is she willing to give up?
Please take caution while reading Lakewood if any of the following topics may trigger you:
- Mental illness
Lakewood is unsettling, fascinating, and very sharp. A huge theme in this book is “the horror that has been forced on Black bodies in the name of science,” and it is deeply compelling and – not surprising – infuriating. Giddings tells a compelling and creepy story interlaced throughout with commentary on race and familial obligations, bodily autonomy, and safety.
This book was the perfect level of unsettling. I don’t usually enjoy a “creepy” book, but this was done so well and expertly weaved with social commentary that kept the story relevant, compelling, and morbidly fascinating.
I really enjoyed this book – it’s on the shorter side, has a definite air of mystery to it, and is solidly grounded in reality; that of familial, medical, and financial obligations and of institutionalized racism in America. I definitely recommend Lakewood if you’re looking for something a little different and that definitely packs a unique punch.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my thoughts on Lakewood. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the novel in the comments or at my Instagram, @bookmarkedbya!