‘The Farm’ by Joanne Ramos [Book Review]

Happy Sunday everyone, I thought I’d share with you today a little book review on ‘The Farm’ by Joanne Ramos. I read this book at the beginning of last year and absolutely loved it. It was quite different to the books I normally reach for but everything about it intrigued me. I’ve stayed true to my own writing style, which is potentially quite different to traditional reviews, but I didn’t feel comfortable writing something which didn’t feel like me! This is my first ever ‘proper’ book review, so go easy on me, but I’d love to hear what you think!

Let’s dive in!

‘It is often hard to find the right words to do a book justice or to write such a compelling review that it urges others to immediately purchase it themselves. In many ways, the immediate reaction once you turn the last page and close the book for the final time, is one that should be witnessed by everyone. ‘The Farm’ by Joanne Ramos is, put simply, a book you will be unable to put down and one you wish you’d picked up sooner; a whirlwind of emotional and thought-provoking literature which everyone should engage with.

Just think for a moment, how would you feel if you were given the chance to live a life of comfort for nine months? Secluded inside a luxury retreat with freshly prepared meals and daily massages at your disposal. Every stress and worry you ever had will vanish and in turn, you will be rewarded with an unimaginable sum of money which will change your life forever. Your only task is to dedicate your time to nurturing and cherishing the unknown fetus growing inside your womb, the child of one of the world’s elite.

Surely renting out your womb is just a small price to pay for a lifetime of happiness for you and your family?

‘The Farm’ is no ordinary love story, but an undeniable celebration of the power of love and sacrifice. A love story not limited to a mother’s love for her daughter but the love and longing for a better life and yet at the same time, it is so much more. The story centres on the protagonist Jane, a young immigrant from the Philippines who is struggling through life with her one-month old daughter Amalia. Jane is living with her Aunt Ate in a dorm full to the brim of other Filipino’s in similar positions, desperate for a new life. At the recommendation of Aunt Ate, she soon finds herself in the company of Mae Yu, owner of ‘Golden Oaks’, where she agrees to be a surrogate mother, leaving her daughter behind in the care of her Aunt. After all, it will only be for nine months.

This debut novel is a scarily plausible story which clings to every essence of human emotion.

You will laugh, cry, be sympathetic and even angry as you are drawn into the lives of each and every character. At times, it feels intrusive, to have such a first-hand look into the socio-economic hardship of so many and at the same time be so aware of the blind sighted naivety of the protagonist. Throughout every step in Jane’s journey there is often a part of you which will question whether she did the right thing and if, given the chance, you too would take up the opportunity? ‘The Farm’ raises an ever important question about how much you would be willing to sacrifice to achieve your dreams, where do you draw the line and at what cost?

It is not often that an author speaks so openly about the realities of gender, class, race and financial dependency, nor the inequalities which circulate these issues. It would have been easy to shy away from such issues, but instead they are embraced and discussed frankly. ‘The Farm’ could be described as a modern-day ‘Handmaid’s Tale’; instead of an attempt to repopulate the world it is a reproduction scheme for the super rich. What matters most is surely that this is a chance for new life to be brought into the world and a chance at happiness for both parties. They get their perfect baby and you get the future you so desire. 

Just imagine, in nine short months any money worries or financial insecurity could be washed away, leaving you free to pursue anything your heart desires. 

The choice is yours and yours alone…

Come along now, your invitation to ‘The Farm’ is waiting. Would you like to accept?’


[‘The Farm’ by Joanne Ramos was published in 2019 by Bloomsbury. I have not been asked to write this review and all views and opinions are my own.]

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