The Farm

The Farm

A Novel

Book - 2019
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Nestled in New York's Hudson Valley is a luxury retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, personal fitness trainers, daily massages—and all of it for free. In fact, you're paid big money to stay here—more than you've ever dreamed of. The catch? For nine months, you cannot leave the grounds, your movements are monitored, and you are cut off from your former life while you dedicate yourself to the task of producing the perfect baby. For someone else. Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines, is in desperate search of a better future when she commits to being a "Host" at Golden Oaks—or the Farm, as residents call it. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her family, Jane is determined to reconnect with her life outside. Yet she cannot leave the Farm or she will lose the life-changing fee she'll receive on the delivery of her child.
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario :, Doubleday Canada,, 2019
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780385693219
Branch Call Number: F RAM NVD
Characteristics: 326 pages ; 24 cm


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ArapahoeJulia Oct 16, 2020

I’ll confess I had a bit of a preconceived notion that this book would be more of a fictional thriller versus a commentary on opportunity, as well as very real issues of the newly immigrated population struggling to survive. Once I got past my own confusion surrounding the intent of this book, I did end up enjoying it. I didn’t find the characters particularly likeable, however I appreciate books that cause me to stop and think about what another person’s reality really looks and feels like.

The Farm by Joanne Ramos is about a luxury facility where women are hired to carry the future children of the world's wealthiest. The story focuses on immigrant, Jane, who is struggling to make ends meet for her and her daughter. The farm proves to be less of a gateway with hope of a brighter freedom and more of a cage, as Jane seeks to reconnect with the life she contractually agreed to ignore for nine months. The problem is there is a lot at stake when you go against the rules of the farm.

The realism of this book, while a meaningful commentary, felt disappointing and a bit compulsory. The story arc fell a little flat for me and while I appreciate the very humanness of each of these characters, I didn’t find myself particularly invested in them. Overall, I found this book interesting. There were elements I hoped for that were under-delivered, however I appreciated this concept being brought to life. The Farm's commentary on life for those struggling to manifest opportunities for themselves proved engaging and thought-provoking.

Aug 13, 2020

Easy read. Felt disappointed in the ending.

May 24, 2020

Rich people paying poor people to have their babies so they don’t Ruin their figures. What could go wrong?

Feb 24, 2020

An eye-opening tale of women coerced into surrogacy for the elite, only to find that the contract they have signed is more legally constraining than they realised. Ramos raises the question of exploitation, yet several points of view make it hard to condemn. The true evil is money? Joanne Ramos was born in the Philippines and raised in the U.S.

Feb 10, 2020

give it a few chapters, at first I didn't like it but I got into it.

Dec 20, 2019

This baby farm is a new form of colonization - super-wealthy mothers' foetuses carried by immigrant surrogate mothers. The author did not critique this extreme form of exploitation. The book was unsatisfying and seemed amateurish. Pop fiction.

Dec 13, 2019

Globe 100 2019 Thriller. As good as most first novels get. Staff writer at the Economist. Ritzy spa for surrogates who carry babies for the
rich and famous.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Nov 25, 2019

Not exactly what I was expecting, but worth a read. They've marketed this as a dystopian novel, but it's really more of a meditation on the immigrant experience and income inequality.

Nov 23, 2019

I like the story much better than The Handmaid’s Tale. Characters are genuine and vivid, no judgement nor criticism, humans are flawed with merits.
The writing is mostly smooth, emblematic of our time. I’d wish some transitions could be felt less abrupt, narration flow fine tuned.

Oct 17, 2019

Terrible ending- I expected some of the people involved, particularly Mae to be punished for her treatment of the women at The Farm. I don't understand why people give this book good reviews- I don't feel she made any of the characters likable and in the end seemed to reward or endorse ridiculously selfish and self absorbed people such as Mae. For me anyways, if the author was trying to make a point about class and culture and the service industry I feel her book fell really flat!

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