Book review: “The Farm” by Joanne Ramos

The NY Times considers this to be “one of the most anticipated books of May.”


Need a sensational, yet discussion-worthy title for your book group? How does this sound:

Beautiful, young Filipino mother Jane Reyes is barely hanging on,  caring for her infant Amalia as a single parent in NY. She lives in a dormitory-style apartment with many other Filipino women.  When Jane is approached about an opportunity to help couples have a baby of their own by being a surrogate, it seems her financial worries are over.  Evelyn, her older cousin and baby nurse to the wealthy, encourages her to take the job. The “opportunity” is not your typical surrogacy arrangement.

Even though it’s more money than she can imagine, Jane struggles with the idea of leaving her little baby for almost a year. The reality is, many of Jane’s peers and family members have left the Philippines to make a better life in the US, sending money home regularly with the goal of bringing the family to the US eventually. In Jane’s world, this type of sacrifice for a better life is acceptable and expected. When cousin Evelyn offers to care for Amalia the decision to become a HOST is made.

Jane moves into Golden Oaks Farm,  an exclusive “gestational” retreat in Upstate, NY where the mega-rich pay for mostly poor, minority women to be the HOST of their fetus – basically the women are renting out their wombs for massive amounts of cash and depending on the CLIENT (biological parents), all sorts of other interesting perks. The beautiful rooms, gourmet meals, exercise classes, and massages seem too good to be true. And to top it off, there are “Well Band” twenty-four-hour monitoring bracelets…

Sounds bizarre and far-fetched, huh?

Whether you are a reader who enjoys being entertained, or if you prefer to delve deep and examine or discuss issues such as greed, exploitation, privilege, and class, “The Farm” has something for you; it’s been one of my favorite fiction titles of 2019.


    • You want it? I’ll send you the link and you can download it , or just read the goodies in it. I didn’t look at any of it until I finished the book and I’m glad, but if you want it BEFORE you read it, I’ll send it.


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