book review

Book Review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos

The blurb: 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.

Gripping, provocative, heartbreaking, The Farm pushes to the extremes our thinking on motherhood, money, and merit and raises crucial questions about the trade-offs women will make to fortify their futures and the futures of those they love.

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, and boy am I glad I was. This book has received a lot of hype, and I like to think it’s definitely well earned.

Jane is a Filipino immigrant trying hard to support her baby daughter.
Reagan is white, educated and wants to make a difference in the world.
Jane and Regan are just two of the many girls who work at Golden Oaks as ‘Hosts’.They are basically surrogates for the rich and influential.
But is all as it seems at Golden Oaks, (nick named ‘The Farm’ by some of the hosts) and can you truly sell a part of yourself without ramifications.
The story essentially focuses on Jane and her struggles, but it is also told from the perspective of Reagan (Jane’s room mate) Ate (Janes Cousin) and Mae (The manager at Golden Oaks).
This took me a little while to really get into the characters at first, but once I had the story flowed nicely and it was easy to get engrossed in. The thing that drew me to the book was that it had been highlighted at ‘A Handmaids Tale for 2019’ and you can definitely see that. The set up at Golden Oaks is all very plausible and sounds idyllic, the Hosts are all there willingly and being paid handsomely. However, you can see how an institute like Golden Oaks could descend into Margaret Atwoods dystopian nightmare.

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