1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $27.37

Buy for $27.37

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

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.

©2020 Megan Giddings (P)2020 HarperAudio

Editor's Pick

What if there was a reason to fear doctors?
"Megan Giddings’s debuts into the audiobook world with a terrifying debut, Lakewood. As a person, I have always been a tad unsettled by doctors. Learning the history of medical experimentation and watching pharmaceutical commercials can usually trigger that response. From the Tuskegee syphilis experiment to death as a medicinal side effect, it can get pretty eerie. However, since I love to scare myself, the plot intrigued me immediately. Megan Giddings writes the thrilling tale of Lena Johnson, who overcome by the responsibility of familial debt, takes a job doing medical trials in Lakewood, Michigan. With great benefits, no expenses, and nice pay, it all seems like a dream come true. The one catch is she must lie about the job…so what’s the true cost? Performed by the powerful voice of Adenrele Ojo, who also brought to life the Audible Original The Queen, prepare yourself to have your morals twisted as the story unfolds."—Nicole R., Audible Editor

More from the same

What listeners say about Lakewood

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    104
  • 4 Stars
    92
  • 3 Stars
    81
  • 2 Stars
    25
  • 1 Stars
    8
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    141
  • 4 Stars
    68
  • 3 Stars
    44
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    7
Story
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    88
  • 4 Stars
    77
  • 3 Stars
    69
  • 2 Stars
    25
  • 1 Stars
    15

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fact or Fiction

This book is one where you have to really listen in order to hear the whole story. The book causes you to think about research in the African American community.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking

It was probably me drifting to other thoughts and not paying 100% to the story, but when I found myself near the end of the book and not understanding, I went almost half way back to the beginning and paid attention, parts of the story near the end didn't click into place until I went back to earlier parts of the story, then it made sense, which drew my interest back deeper into the story. As I followed the narrative closely near the end, my thoughts started to be stirred.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Experimental studies...right under our noses

I had a hard time reading it, but I truly focused after my third time, I loved it. It's crazy what our government does in plain site. It's generations of it too, and I'm not surprised what folk will do for the mighty dollar .
#book17of2020 #bookworm #whatsnext

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The Rollercoaster came to a screeching halt!

The story was very well thought out, very well written. However, I struggled sometimes with the male character voices, and I hoped for more of a big reveal at the end of the story.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This debut novel by Megan Giddings is deep.

The day after the novel was released, I have listened to the audiobook on audible, I thought the story was deep and well written by Megan Giddings and the narrator Adenrele Ojo is talent, her voice matches very well with this story but I admire Giddings and Ojo's work.
Lakewood focuses on Lena Johnson, a black college student whose grandmother passed away from cancer which leaves her caring for her ailing mother after the family debt was revealed. While in school and job hunting, she receives a letter from Great Lakes Shipping Company that offers her a job position that contains a large amount of paycheck, free place to resides, and out of pocket health benefits (which she needs for her mother),this letter also invites her to become a patient in a secret research program about mind and memory. As her mother's sickness increases, Lena decides to take this offer, leave college and relocate to Lakewood, MI. After she arrives, Lena discovers that her and other patients are black, Latino, and Indian and the researchers/doctors are white, she's instructed to lie to her mom and friends about her cover job.
Lena is subjected to panels of tests such as: uncomfortable evaluations, mysterious injections, eyedrops that changes eye color, medications that suppose to cure dementia and erase negative thoughts.
As the experiments becomes more bizarre, Lena's mental and physical health is on jeopardy, she begins to questions if she's making a right decision.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I wanted more from this book.

The narration was lovely, and the premise was intriguing. And I’m always down to support WOC writers. But it was a let down in the experiments and creepy factor.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Just Ok - not much of a thriller

Sometimes reading through reviews can be so deceiving. I usually have to click the lowest reviews first to get a better midway rating. This wasn’t anywhere near as suspenseful, thrilling, or horrific as the summary or some reviewers claimed it to be. While I enjoyed it to some degree it could’ve been so much more! I wish the author would’ve gone into greater detail with the experiments allowing you to fully experience the pain and uneasy feelings. Perhaps if there would’ve been dialogue between the doctors explaining what they were doing may have helped. The narrative of Lena alone wasn’t enough to bring this to the suspenseful and thrilling climax I had expected. The ending came without warning. There was no explanation of “how” or “who” exposed/discovered what was going on. I really like the idea behind the story. It just could’ve gone so much deeper in so many ways that would’ve instilled a greater fear and paranoia while reading/listening.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Wasted Potential

This storyline had a lot of potential. However , the author was so long winded about the experiments, the rest of the story was neglected.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • el
  • 05-11-21

Excellent!!

This book is amazing! Informative, tons of imagery and symbolism, and nothing is over explained! I like being able to figure things out and guess in a book. This is perfect!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

i hate to give this a bad review butttt...

didnt love this. the story dragged and i didnt fall in love with the characters to really get invested. the main character is book smart but her common sense 🙄🙄🙄 I'm not even gonna talk about the ending....

1 person found this helpful