The Farm by Joanne Ramos. (2019).
**3 out of 5 stars**
Ambitious businesswoman Mae runs Golden Oaks, a luxury retreat transforming the fertility industry. These women get the best of everything (organic meals, fitness trainers, daily massages and money), provided they dedicate themselves to producing the perfect baby for someone else.
Jane is a young immigrant in search of a better future for herself and her baby daughter. She lives in a cramped dorm with her aunt Ate when she is offered an unmissable chance to change her life – but at what cost?
This book did not live up to the expectation I had of it from the blurb and the multiple raving reviews published on the back cover. I’m not saying it’s bad at all, I don’t regret reading it, but it was fairly average for me. I got confused that the words ‘surrogates’ and ‘surrogacy’ weren’t really used at all during the narrative; the women were referred to as ‘Hosts’ which I guess is not an issue but it just seemed strange that the whole concept of the book was surrogacy and yet that word is rarely used…(just my personal opinion).
I didn’t feel a connection to any of the main characters really. I think the reader is supposed to really feel sympathy for Jane and in a way I did feel for her but at the same time I just didn’t feel drawn to her at all. I found Mae interesting but again, not drawn to her. I can see why people describe this book as having strong political undertones and I think it did have important food for thought but overall I just found it a bit slow and flat.