The Farm by Joanne Ramos
June 3, 2019
Dear Mr. Hemingway,
A story overflowing with ideas that spark debate is my kind of read. The Farm by Joanne Ramos does just that. Ramos’ book explores the financial, moral and ethical aspects of surrogacy. This contemporary work of fiction pairs motherhood and consumerism in a way that leaves readers with more questions than answers.
The Farm is told through the eyes of several characters in the book with the primary focus on Jane. Jane is an immigrant from the Philippines living in New York with her infant daughter. Jane hustles each and every day working various low paying jobs to make ends meet. Her life changes drastically when she is offered the job of becoming a surrogate for a wealthy client. For nine months, she will stay at Golden Oaks (The Farm) where her pregnancy will be micromanaged by the Golden Oak staff. Throughout her stay, Jane must adhere to the rules of the contract to be paid upon the delivery of the baby. At The Farm, Jane and the other surrogates receive healthy organic food, top notch health care, and live in posh quarters. Despite these generous accommodations, Jane feels stressed being away from her own young daughter. As the story progresses, Jane and the other surrogates encounter a few surprises at Golden Oaks that leave them questioning the morals of the company. With the money hungry director of Golden Oaks eager to make her own financial success, and a group of surrogates questioning her ways, Golden Oaks quickly becomes a place filled with lies and exploitation.
Having a child via a surrogate is not a new practice. Families are happily created each and everyday through the help of surrogates. I was really intrigued by Joanne Ramos’s debut novel. Though this is a work of fiction, I found its premise quite real and alarmingly believable. You know what it so scary Mr. H……...a place like Golden Oaks doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibilities these days. When a farm is literally growing babies and the hottest real estate around is a woman’s womb, you know there is trouble on the horizon. With that said, The Farm is totally a book for now. After reading this story, I am now more than ever interested in the surrogacy process and how the unexpected scenarios play out. Ramos’ book shows what can happen when an infertility option or simple act of kindness turns into a money making business. Class and privilege both have starring roles in this brilliant novel. This book examines how much people are actually willing to sacrifice for financial gain. I encourage readers to go grab it with a friend and start reading. This is a book club must for 2019!!
I wish you much love and reading always!
Your Biggest Fan,
P.S. Surrogacy is not legal in all states. As of right now, there is no Federal law providing uniform guidelines. Each state is responsible for developing their own surrogacy law. What is the law where you live?????