The Farm

The Farm

A Novel

Book - 2019
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"A riveting debut novel about four very different women whose lives intersect at a high-end facility where surrogate mothers for the uber wealthy live for the duration of their pregnancies. Welcome to Golden Oaks, the next big thing in the fertility economy. Backed by a multibillion-dollar conglomerate, "The Farm" is fitted with every amenity for the surrogates who have come to bring the babies of the very rich to term: doctors, nutritionists, fitness instructors and coordinators who monitor every detail of their day-to-day existence. In return, these "hosts" offer a nine-month lease on their bodies for the opportunity to earn "big money" that will change the trajectory of their often difficult lives--as long as they stay out of trouble and deliver healthy babies. Via the Farm's vibrant cast of characters, the novel details a spectrum of female experience in a world that is very nearly ours. Meet Jane, a young Filipina immigrant whose host fee will go toward supporting her infant daughter; idealistic college graduate Reagan, who will use hers to break from the expectations of her domineering father; Mae Yu, the HBS-educated director of Golden Oaks whose ambitions extend far beyond the facility; and Ate Evelyn, Jane's 67-year-old cousin, a shrewd, in-demand baby nurse for the rich with plans of her own. As the intersecting lives of these women play out against the backdrop of the rural Hudson Valley, the lavish homes of the One Percent, and the crowded dormitory in Queens where immigrant service workers rent beds by the half day, the novel calls into question a woman's agency over her body, and, ultimately, illuminates the tradeoffs women will make to fortify their futures, and the futures of those they love."--
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario : Doubleday Canada, ©2019.
ISBN: 9780385693219
Characteristics: 326 pages ;,24 cm.


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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!

takeclare Sep 30, 2019

'The Farm' is a reproductive dystopia, in which Joanne Ramos imagines what it might be like were women's capacity to bear children to become widely commodified. A New York company recruits women - 'Hosts', as they call them - to bear the children of the super-rich, and requires them to live at their gestational facility Golden Oaks for the duration of their pregnancies. Mostly from immigrant and economically vulnerable backgrounds, the women, having agreed to lengthy contracts, find that autonomy and control over their own bodies is slowly and inevitably being eroded by the company. Ramos tends to end chapters at moments of high tension, making this a pacey read. A thoughtful, timely consideration of the experiences of immigrant women, privilege, and economic oppression.

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