Review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos

 

The Farm Summary

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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.

— Penguin Random House

The Farm Review

 

Hi folks! So, this is being hyped as a pretty big one, and I was lucky enough to snag a digital review copy.  I whizzed through it in a couple of days a while back, and seeing as it releases soon, I figured I would share my thoughts here!

Overall, I enjoyed this book!  It was an intriguing read, and definitely surprised me more often than not, which perhaps I was not set up for as the plot seemed so familiar (I thought The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Circle).  That was probably the main problem for me — the plot seemed familiar.  

With the hype around this book, I think I expected something a little more game-changing and revolutionary.  While this story was entertaining, I kept wanting something more from it.  I didn’t find anyone’s end satisfying — all the characters seemed right back in the same place they started (developmentally) despite having been on this harrowing journey.  

I also found the plot to somewhat unravel towards the end — I didn’t feel that there was enough glue to make this world stick together for me.  There were several points at which I needed to suspend my disbelief a little.  And yes, although the characters were all in quite sticky situations throughout the novel, I thought their paranoia was a little overworked considering this world isn’t a full-blown dystopia, as the author seems to want us to believe.  There was just a bit of a disconnect — I felt that the fear and consequences could have been built up a little more in order for the payoff to be worth it.

Although I definitely had a lot of issues with The Farm, I was overall invested in the story and interested throughout.  I don’t regret reading it at all,  I’m just not sure it is as big of a deal as others in the book community have made it out to be.  If you’re a fan of not-so-far-off, Black Mirror-esque dystopia with a warm story, this is for you.

The Farm by Joanne Ramos is scheduled to be released May 7, 2019.  Although Random House provided me with a free review copy, this did not in any way affect my review.

As always,

 

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