The Farm

The Farm

A Novel

Book - 2019
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Ensconced within a Hudson Valley retreat where expectant birth mothers are given luxurious accommodations and lucrative rewards to produce perfect babies, a Filipino immigrant is forced to choose between a life-changing payment and the outside world.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Doubleday Canada, [2019]
ISBN: 9780385693219
Branch Call Number: RAM
Characteristics: 326 pages ; 23

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Sep 2019: Tansley Woods afternoon | Oct 2019: Aldershot afternoon | Jan 2020: Central morning | Apr 2020: Central evening

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u
uncommonreader
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.

s
selfishgiant
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.

x
xiaojunbpl12
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.

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.......

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