The Farm

The Farm

A Novel

Large Print - 2019
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Nestled in New York's Hudson Valley is a luxury retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, private 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. 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 own 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 delivery. Heartbreaking, gripping, provocative, The Farm pushes our thinking on motherhood, money, and merit to the extremes, and raises crucial questions about the trade-offs women will make to fortify their futures and the futures of those they love.
Publisher: New York :, Random House Large Print,, [2019]
Edition: Large print edition.
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781984886941
1984886940
Characteristics: 487 pages (large print) ; 24 cm.

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l
lebbook
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.

d
dirtbag
Sep 23, 2019

I thought this was a very intelligent, well written book but that is because I am not assuming that it is another version of Margaret Atwood's Handmaids Tale. That is not the point. She made a mistake when she set it in a surrogacy clinic. That set up the comparison. What this book is mostly about is the thousands of Philappinas (sp?) working all over the world in a 100 different countries doing exactly what she said. They put their own families on the back burner and some relative looks after them and watches them grow up while they work in a foreign land, live on a pittance for themselves, and send the rest back to support their family at home. They live in a vulnerable position as an employee that can be disposed of at any moment, are often treated badly and paid badly and are frequently taken advantage of by their rich employers.
They have no status beyond what the employer offers, and they are NEVER equals. It is a horrible way to live but the rich employers never notice because it is all about them. This is a commentary about class. She should have set it in an elite private health facility...possibly a deluxe home for terminal care.

l
lpreston214
Sep 16, 2019

In the not too distant future, surrogates gestate babies for the rich at the Farm. At first the farm sounded pretty great. Carefully prepared healthy and nutritionally balanced meals, exercise a plenty and close medical monitoring. However, it soon becomes apparent that there's way too much control and monitoring. The women are not allowed to leave nor see their families. Needless to say, some rebel at this. We come to know several women and what motivates them to be surrogates. That's interesting. But, as other reviewers have mentioned, the end is a giant anti-climax. The theme that the rich can basically do whatever they want is depressingly too true.

r
retiring_rep
Aug 31, 2019

A good novel but the epilogue could have been cut. The epilogue is disappointingly predictable. Fortunately, other reviewers provided a good overview of the plot.

t
tammygfarmgirl
Aug 19, 2019

Was excited when I started, but although I finished it, wanting to know the end, I still can't quite figure out the point of it all.......

r
RustyReader9
Aug 10, 2019

If you are expecting a Handmaid's Tale-ish take on a baby harvesting farm then you're going to be disappointed, just like I was. I couldn't put this book down, the story line kept building and I was anticipating something big was about to happen, but nothing. I was so disappointed with the ending, I couldn't believe that is how it ended. I had so much anticipation to read this book, but unfortunately it fell flat.

s
Suelogeman
Aug 09, 2019

I enjoyed this book and would recommend it. It shows how the ethnic female culture leaves their families behind and come to America to work to support them back home so they can enjoy a better life. The Golden Oaks Farm is not so far fetched that it couldn't be happening here now. The elite paying these women to carry their babies to term so they don't have to or don't want to. Money brings power and control. I didn't like the ending in this story. More manipulation by the rich. A good book to choose for a book club as it deals with a lot of topics rich vs poor lifestyles, immigration and culture of various races. This was Jane's choice for book club.

c
Carolwagers
Jul 26, 2019

Wanted to like it. I did not.

b
BWilsoned
Jul 21, 2019

This is a thought-provoking novel with a quite plausible premise. It’s so well done, I was uncomfortable with the ending. Issues include discrimination, racism, surrogacy, child care, immigration, financial disparity, and family. This would be a great book club choice because there are so many things to talk about: is the director of Golden Oaks morally ambiguous? Are the Caucasian surrogates, “Premium Hosts”, altruistic or looking for easy money? Why do the rich clients want those premium hosts when they themselves are usually not Caucasian? Is Evelyn a kind of pimp, and does her reason make her less so? Is Jane a pushover?

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