The Farm – By Joanne Ramos

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Goodreads Synopsis: Nestled in the Hudson Valley is a sumptuous retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, private fitness trainers, daily massages—and all of it for free. In fact, you get paid big money—more than you’ve ever dreamed of—to spend a few seasons in this luxurious locale. The catch? For nine months, you belong to the Farm. You cannot leave the grounds; your every move is monitored. Your former life will seem a world away as you dedicate yourself to the all-consuming task of producing the perfect baby for your überwealthy clients.

Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines and a struggling single mother, is thrilled to make it through the highly competitive Host selection process at the Farm. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her own young daughter’s well-being, Jane grows desperate 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—or worse.

Heartbreaking, suspenseful, 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.

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, but I was super intrigued by the synopsis so I decided to give it a try.

Raoms’ writing style hooked me from the very beginning. She builds a familiar setting, turns it just slightly to the extreme, and suddenly I’m on the edge of my seat. She builds strong characters that are easy to relate to, each one unique in their own way. The one thing I will say is that I don’t think so many characters needed their own POV chapters. I did a fair amount of skimming on Ellen and Mae’s chapters. But that’s always my preference.

The story is mostly character driven, the plot is definitely not as intense as something like The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s much more about the personal lives of the women who go through surrogacy program, and it really dives into reproductive rights and the morality of a place like this. It’s heartbreaking, fascinating and feels very real.

Joanne Ramos is an author that will now be on my radar and I’m looking foward to her future books.  In the end I gave The Farm four stars on Goodreads.

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