- Book: Lakewood by Megan Giddings (MG) available today, March 24, 2020, in the US
- Featured Tea: Mint Green Chai, sencha green tea beautifully balanced with cardamom, ginger, and clove. A soothing peppermint finish
- Participants tea selections: Peppermint tea, Chocolate Hazelnut Latte, Pomegranate & blueberry herbal tea, and Green tea
Let’s begins the Q&A. Now that everyone’s seated with their books, tea selections and tea treats of choice, it’s time to get started.
Note: This is a fictitious Q&A based on the book synopsis & interviews I read online, from theRumpus.net & Los Angeles Times. I did enlist help from fellow bookstagrammers, which I’ve linked below, to create an engaged & informed audience.
BBTCC: Let’s start with an intro from one of our audience members.
engineersreadtoo: (sips peppermint tea) It couldn’t be a more perfect time for this book to be available to the world. If the government told you that the only thing standing between a cure to covid-19 is participants to test it out on- would you do it? You’d be fully compensated and offered medical care for yourself and your family- you just have to do everything they ask. That’s the decision Lena had to make for her family. Suspenseful, horror-filled, Jordan Peel-ish… How much would you be willing to sacrifice?
BBTCC: Thank you, very fitting comparison! Megan, please tell us about your debut novel, Lakewood. There is a comparison to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks as well.
MG: Lakewood is a literary fiction novel that takes place in a fictional town in Michigan. Lakewood is a coming-of-age novel that is more interested in what it looks like to come of age without putting sex in the equation. Lakewood is a novel that is about many kinds of inequity that are still thriving in the United States.
BBTCC: What motivated you to write Lakewood?
MG: Some of Lakewood was generated from many conversations with friends about what it’s sometimes like to be not white in the United States. When I started reading more about the different research studies that have happened on different at-risk populations in the US—I’m hesitant here to only say black because Native and Indigenous people were also used as research subjects and as far as I know, the US government has not apologized to them—I think this all worked together to help make the foundation for Lakewood as it is today.
bookedandrooted: (sips green tea) This book is weird, but in an interesting way. It gave me “Sorry to Bother You” (movie) and Jordan Peele’s Get Out vibes. With nuances of slavery, racism and the abuse of black and brown bodies Lakewood definitely hit the mark.
BBTCC: Those movie comparisons seem spot on. I couldn’t help but wonder about “an eye drop turning brown eyes blue” – I got some Black No More (by George Schuyler) vibes. Has anyone else read that book?
never_withouta_book: (sips Chocolate Hazelnut Latte) YAAAAS on Black No More. In Lakewood, they have this girl eating and drinking what she thinks is food but I know they put all kinds of experimental drugs in it and the questions they are asking her? Yeah, something’s not right.
melanatedreader: (sips pomegranate & blueberry tea) Like you know something is not quite right so you just have to keep reading… Girl it’s eerie 😩😩
BBTCC: Thank you ladies. Megan, does Lena really understand or give consent to the research being conducted on her and others at Lakewood?
MG: When you’re in a legitimate research study, the doctors will walk you through every possible thing that could happen. At Lakewood, I don’t count it as consent, because everybody who works at the facility always has more knowledge than Lena. They don’t really tell her the risks.
BBTCC: Thank you everyone for stopping by Books by the Cup Café for our discussion with Megan Giddings about her new book Lakewood. If you’ve read this book, I hope you will share it with others. If not, I hope this interview will encourage you read this book.