Review: Lakewood by Megan Giddings

First off, I listened to this book as an audiobook, so a note on the narrator: She narrated a middle school child on Look Both Ways, which I listened to not that long ago, so it took me a long time to not think of this book’s main character as a child. She does a fantastic job, though, and once I got past that mental thing, it was good.

Lakewood is a novel about medical experimentation on black Americans. I am not going to say I loved this book or that it was entertaining or unputdownable, because those things are not true. It made me incredibly uncomfortable. I took long breaks between listening. What I will say is that it was graphic and visceral and I couldn’t not finish it. It was an important read in the way that The Handmaid’s Tale and The Warehouse are important reads. So, while it was kind of a miserable experience, that was the point. And I don’t know about you, but discomfort is how I grow. It means I’m looking at something I’ve avoided looking at.

This is the book to read if you want fiction to read alongside The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks or if you just want to get to intimately know a part of the human experience that is not yours. It’s powerful and feels so real.

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