Farming

• Thank you #Randomhouse for this advanced copy of The Farm by Joanne Ramos. #partner •

A week or so ago I made a small stack of books that I’d like to read this summer. The Farm was the first book I pulled from the stack and read. Initially I saw this book on netgalley’s site and after reading the synopsis I wasn’t particularly drawn to it. However, when Random House offered to send it, I took them up on it. The cover art is alluring and the colors quickly grabbed my eye. This novel follows several girls as they offer themselves as surrogates for the extremely wealthy. During their pregnancy stay at this facility (dubbed The Farm)they are given the ultimate in comfort, including the best and healthiest food choices, exercise options, and are paid quite handsomely upon delivery. Many of the girls who offer their services are minorities or immigrants, although there is a desire from The Farm to bring in lighter skinned or Caucasian women. Several of the main characters are from the Philippines. Ramos draws upon her own heritage as well as her experience from her time at Princeton for this novel. Her writing flows and the story feels authentic, if not all that original. Surrogacy and being paid greatly for it has existed forever more or less. Perhaps the idea of extravagant facilities existing for this is a newer notion, however the ultra-rich have always had more “options” available, so it wouldn’t surprise if these places currently exist. Actually it would surprise me if they didn’t. Money buys almost anything, especially these days. Those who come to the US lacking the skills, education, and knowing the right people-or all three, are always going to be susceptible to the whims/ideas of those who have these things under their belt. This underprivileged group may be easier influenced, but they (in this story) are compensated highly. Money does buy more freedoms, right, wrong, or indifferent.

I gave this book three stars. The pace and character development was on target. I didn’t love the story, but Ramos has an eye for detail, so I will keep an eye out for future novels.

“No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.”

-Mary Wortley Montagu

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