The Farm
by Joanne Ramos


Overview - Life is a lucrative business, as long as you play by the rules.

People Book of the Week - " Joanne] Ramos's debut novel couldn't be more relevant or timely."--O: The Oprah Magazine (25 Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2019)

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.

Praise for The Farm

"So many factors--gender, race, religion, class--may determine where you come down on the surrogacy debate. . . . Joanne Ramos plays with many of these notions in her debut novel, The Farm, which imagines what might happen were surrogacy taken to its high-capitalist extreme. . . . The stage is set for lively book chat."--The New York Times Book Review

"A thrilling read."--New York

"Grippingly realistic."--Entertainment Weekly ("20 New Books to Read in May")

"Brilliant."--New York Post ("Best Books of the Week")

"A provocative idea, and Ramos nails it . . . Crisp and believable, this smart debut links the poor and the 1 percent in a unique transaction that turns out to be mutually rewarding."--People (Book of the Week)

"Wow, Joanne Ramos has written the page-turner about immigrants chasing what's left of the American dream. . . . Truly unforgettable."--Gary Shteyngart, New York Times bestselling author of Super Sad True Love Story and Lake Success

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More About The Farm by Joanne Ramos
 
 
 
Overview
Life is a lucrative business, as long as you play by the rules.

People Book of the Week - " Joanne] Ramos's debut novel couldn't be more relevant or timely."--O: The Oprah Magazine (25 Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2019)

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.

Praise for The Farm

"So many factors--gender, race, religion, class--may determine where you come down on the surrogacy debate. . . . Joanne Ramos plays with many of these notions in her debut novel, The Farm, which imagines what might happen were surrogacy taken to its high-capitalist extreme. . . . The stage is set for lively book chat."--The New York Times Book Review

"A thrilling read."--New York

"Grippingly realistic."--Entertainment Weekly ("20 New Books to Read in May")

"Brilliant."--New York Post ("Best Books of the Week")

"A provocative idea, and Ramos nails it . . . Crisp and believable, this smart debut links the poor and the 1 percent in a unique transaction that turns out to be mutually rewarding."--People (Book of the Week)

"Wow, Joanne Ramos has written the page-turner about immigrants chasing what's left of the American dream. . . . Truly unforgettable."--Gary Shteyngart, New York Times bestselling author of Super Sad True Love Story and Lake Success

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781984853752
  • ISBN-10: 1984853759
  • Publisher: Random House
  • Publish Date: May 2019
  • Page Count: 336
  • Dimensions: 9.3 x 6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Women
Books > Fiction > Family Life - General

 
BookPage Reviews

The Farm

There are a number of compelling arguments for surrogacy. Some would-be mothers are unable to conceive. Gay couples may wish to become parents. But, as with any legal arrangement, complications can arise, especially when mercenaries try to exploit people’s emotions for monetary gain.

Joanne Ramos imagines such complications in The Farm, her ambitious dystopian debut. The novel’s effectiveness lies in the power of its premise. Financially straitened women, most of them Filipina immigrants—Ramos, an American, was born in the Philippines and moved to Wisconsin when she was 6—are recruited to carry the babies of an ultra-rich, typically white clientele in exchange for a huge payout.

Among the immigrants is protagonist Jane Reyes, the Filipina mother of a 4-year-old girl who left her husband after she discovered his affair. After Jane loses her nanny job, she takes a tip from her 67-year-old cousin with whom she lives, and applies for a job at Golden Oaks, a fancy resort in New York’s Hudson Valley. At Golden Oaks, surrogate mothers reside in luxury, and this opulence includes organic meals, private fitness trainers, daily massages—all for free. But the pregnant women are constantly monitored, and they are restricted from leaving the grounds or from having any contact with the outside world.

The person running Golden Oaks is Mae Yu, a high-achieving Chinese-American woman who, in a marvelous phrase, has “a lusty Ayn Randian love of New York.” Her job is to recruit Hosts who are willing to carry babies for the company’s wealthy Clients. Not all Hosts, however, are treated the same. A few are Premium Hosts, which means they’re white. They include Jane’s roommate Reagan, who represents the holy trifecta of Premium Hosts because she’s white, pretty and educated. She aspires to a career in photography and wants to break free of her domineering father. Another Premium Host is Lisa, who sees Golden Oaks for what it is and recruits Jane and Reagan in her plans to undermine its authority. And then there’s Jane’s cousin, whose motivations may not be what they seem.

Although The Farm has too many digressions and sometimes makes its points too obviously, Ramos still does an excellent job posing complex questions surrounding surrogacy, immigration, capitalism and more. At one point, Reagan tells Jane, “Everything’s conditional. Everything’s got strings attached.” The Farm shows how intricately laced those strings can be.

 
BAM Customer Reviews