The Farm - Joanne Ramos

The Farm

By Joanne Ramos

  • Release Date: 2019-05-07
  • Genre: Literary
4 Score: 4 (From 211 Ratings)


NATIONAL BESTSELLER • Life is a lucrative business, as long as you play by the rules.

Skimm Reads Pick • People Book of the Week • Belletrist Book Pick • “[Joanne] Ramos’s debut novel couldn’t be more relevant or timely.”—O: The Oprah Magazine

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Time Glamour Real Simple • Good Housekeeping Marie Claire Town & Country

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.


“So many factors—gender, race, religion, class—may determine where you come down on the surrogacy debate. . . . Ramos plays with many of these notions in her debut novel, The Farm, which imagines what might happen were surrogacy taken to its high-capitalist extreme. . . . The stage is set for lively book chat.”The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)

“A thrilling read.”New York 

“Grippingly realistic.”Entertainment Weekly

“Brilliant.”New York Post

“A provocative idea, and Ramos nails it . . . Crisp and believable, this smart debut links the poor and the 1 percent in a unique transaction that turns out to be mutually rewarding.”People

“Wow, Joanne Ramos has written the page-turner about immigrants chasing what’s left of the American dream. . . . Truly unforgettable.”—Gary Shteyngart, New York Times bestselling author of Super Sad True Love Story and Lake Success


  • Strong start, lame finish

    By EnglishMajorProblems
    Great concept for a book, was intrigued with the start. The plot had a great opportunity to go somewhere fun and unexpected, but this did not happen. The ending found the characters sailing off into a yawn-worthy sunset. Also, the word “forkful” was way overused in this book. Who actually says the word “forkful” let alone use it multiple times in one book??
  • What would you do for money?

    By kimbnaz
    In a world where just about everything is for sale, would you carry a baby if you could afford to have someone carry it for you? The Farm is a lovely estate where young women act as surrogates for wealthy clients. Clients that either cannot or choose not to bear their own children. It is almost dystopian in its approach to surrogacy, but considering I know so little about surrogacy, it wouldn’t surprise me to know places such as this exist. Golden Oaks is a beautiful estate in New York that exists solely as an incubator for babies. IVF babies that are carried by “hosts”, young women specifically selected by Mae, the Farm’s master, based on selective criteria. Most come from impoverished backgrounds, but there are VIP hosts. These VIP hosts come from better quality backgrounds and higher level educations and cost more if you choose one of them to carry your fetus. Golden Oaks looks really pretty from the outside, just as the cashmere loungewear the hosts are given upon arrival. However, dark secrets and practices lurk at The Farm. In the novel, we meet Jane, a young Filipino woman who is estranged from her husband and living in a dorm in New York City. Jane has a daughter from this husband, and works in a retirement home to support herself. Her cousin, Ate, is a well known and well respected baby nurse in New York City. Ate gets Jane a job as a baby nurse to try to help her make more money. When Jane is fired from that job, Ate suggests Golden Oaks as an option. Reagan comes from a wealthy family and is a college graduate. Reagan chooses Golden Oaks as a way to get out from under her father’s thumb and wallet. She’s considered a VIP due to her genetics, background, and education. The story follows Jane and Reagan through the nine months that they carry these babies. As different as these two could be, they are thrown together as roommates. Neither has any idea whose baby they are carrying, but there are rumors of a billionaire baby whose host will get a huge bonus upon successful delivery. Speculation is that it might be Jane or Reagan based on when they conceived. Golden Oaks is a fantasy prenatal center as long as you follow the rules. But no one can follow all the rules all the time. Can they? Not only is the subject matter interesting, but the two female hosts, as well as other prominent characters in the book, are fascinating. How they ended up at Golden Oaks, what their experiences will be, how they’ll feel when it comes time to give birth and give up these golden children. It is both a unique and fascinating story. For me, it was a “can’t put down experience” into a world I’d never imagined existed. Definitely gets high marks from me and would be a book I would likely recommend to friends. Review orignally posted at