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The Farm: A Novel by Joanne Ramos
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The Farm: A Novel

by Joanne Ramos

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3012759,396 (3.56)6
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… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
If you work in reproductive health, you will be disappointed by some of the outdated research the author tries to pass off as plot (in a business that caters to the ultra rich and their hand picked surrogates, am I really expected to believe they wouldn't screen for trisomy 21 BEFORE they implanted the embryo)...and that even if they didn't, it wouldn't have been picked up by what is now a standard blood test at 9 weeks...and THEN wouldn't have been picked up before 16 weeks? And I could be wrong, but who even DOES CVS, a procedure associated with increased limb defects, anymore, let alone in a clinic that puts such a high price on a healthy outcome? Shoddy research pulled me out of a story that was already hard to stay attuned to. Maybe your suspension of disbelief is better than mine. ( )
  birthsister | Jan 27, 2020 |
Very enjoyable characters, but I am very curious about the whole plot - the Author's Note explains where the idea for characters came from, but not where the idea for the premise came from. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Jan 9, 2020 |
This was a good read and the ending was not what I expected. I won't spoil it but let's just say that none of the "hosts" die. This story was about "hosts" being paid to carry a baby for wealthy people some because they can't some because they don't want to. The book changes throughout with a few characters and there were times I had to think about who was "speaking", but was able to keep the people in the story separated. ( )
  squirkey | Dec 31, 2019 |
The Farm by Joanne Ramos is about a business where the product is babies, the employees are fixed-term, the job requirements are stringent and absolute, and the management is concerned with profits and brands. Some might say that the idea of big business is menace enough. The book sets up an idea more of scientific experimentation and a "Big Brother" approach to controlling the "host" mothers. That sense of foreboding and danger unfortunately never comes to fruition.

Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2019/12/the-farm.html

Reviewed for #NetGalley. ( )
  njmom3 | Dec 29, 2019 |
First off, it is a treat to read a book featuring Asian American protagonists. I do not get to read enough books under this scope. Ramos illustrates the immigrant struggle contrasted with American wealth and privilege. Ate Evelyn, one of the featured Filipino characters, resembles a piece of any Filipino aunt I know. It was an enjoyable read but there were a few missing elements. All of the characters have a lot of background going for them with elaborate details but the storytelling falls flat. There are some things that do not make sense given some of the character's personalities. The premise of the book sounds dystopian but it seems like reality today. I see it as a good discussion on capitalism and greed. It is a book worth picking up. ( )
  Anamie | Dec 2, 2019 |
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For my mother, Elvira Abad Ramos
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The emergency room is an assault.
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Because in America you only have to know how to make money. Money buys everything else.
"There's no bigger nightmare for a mother than not being able to protect her child..."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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