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Life is a lucrative business, as long as you play by the rules.
People Book of the Week • “[Joanne] Ramos’s debut novel couldn’t be more relevant or timely.”—O: The Oprah Magazine (25 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2019)
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.
Praise for The Farm
“So many factors—gender, race, religion, class—may determine where you come down on the surrogacy debate. . . . Joanne 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
“A thrilling read.”—New York
“Grippingly realistic.”—Entertainment Weekly (“20 New Books to Read in May”)
“Brilliant.”—New York Post (“Best Books of the Week”)
“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 (Book of the Week)
“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
About the Author
Joanne Ramos was born in the Philippines and moved to Wisconsin when she was six. She graduated with a B.A. from Princeton University. After working in investment banking and private-equity investing for several years, she became a staff writer at The Economist. She currently serves on the board of The Moth. She lives in New York City with her husband and three children.
“A timely investigation of how much control we really have over our own situations, especially when it comes to women’s choice . . . With glimmers of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go and the dystopian eeriness of The Handmaid’s Tale, The Farm is equal parts entertaining and creepy.”—PureWow
“The Handmaid’s Tale vibes are strong, but the ‘holy sh*t this book is genius’ vibes are stronger.”—Cosmopolitan (“The 14 Best Books Coming Out in May 2019”)
“A horror story set in a not-impossible future, this fast-paced read will keep you on the edge of your seat as it explores topical issues with page-turning plot twists.”—MindBodyGreen (“5 Books You Won’t Be Able to Put Down This May”)
“A must-read in an age of increasing inequality and ongoing battles for reproductive rights and immigration justice.”—Literary Hub (“What to Read This Month”)
“This topical, provocative debut anatomizes class, race and the American dream.”—The Guardian, “What You’ll Be Reading This Year”
“You know those books that immediately draw you in and suddenly you can’t think of anything else? . . . A cracking, chilling but also human page-turner.”—Joanna Goddard, A Cup of Jo
“A sharp takedown of the idea of American meritocracy.”—Refinery29
“The Farm is a smart, thoughtful novel about women, choices, and the immigrant experience that asks the question: How far would you go for the American dream?”—PopSugar, “Buzzy Books to Read This Spring”
“[The Farm] hits home hard—a thrilling read about the myth of meritocracy, the way some people get ahead in life before they’re even born.”—New York, “Spring Books Preview”
“Ramos has written a firecracker of a novel, at once caustic and tender, page-turning and thought-provoking. This is a fierce indictment of the vampiric nature of modern capitalism, which never loses sight of the very human stories at its center. . . . Highly recommended.”—Madeline Miller, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Circe
“Perhaps the most powerful element of this debut novel by Ramos, who was born in Manila and moved to Wisconsin when she was six, is its portrait of the world of Filipinas in New York. The three-page soliloquy of instructions for nannying delivered to Jane by her more experienced cousin is a work of art in itself. . . . Excellent.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Compelling storytelling . . . Ramos’s debut is so engaging that the reader might not understand the depths she probes until the book is done. . . . Each character’s complexity will give book groups plenty to discuss.”—Booklist (starred review)