Another week, another book review! It's week 19, and I'm still going strong! This week's book was super hyped up on Pinterest, and I was excited to give it a try!
If you need a review of why I do a weekly book review, check it out here!
I've never read anything by this author before, and heard nothing but good things! So, with no more hype, my review of The Farm by Joanne Ramos!
The Farm, begins when Jane needs a job to care for herself and her newborn, Amalia. Living in a dorm, with her aunt, and many other Filipina women, Jane wants a better life for herself and her daughter. Her aunt, a well-respected baby-nurse, gets sick, and offers Jane to take her place caring for the baby.
Jane begins working for the family, leaving Amalia with her aunt.
The family is nice enough to Jane, but she misses her daughter, and is still dealing with the after-effects of her own birth.
When Jane accidentally breast-feeds the family's son, she is fired.
Jane's aunt suggests she goes to work at Golden Oaks, a high-end surrogacy center that caters to expensive clients. Jane agrees, knowing the money she earns will help her and Amalia have a much better life in the long run.
Jane is soon implanted with an embryo, but has no idea who the parents of the child are. She again leaves Amalia with her aunt. She soon makes friends with Lisa and Reagan, both at Golden Oaks as surrogates. After a hike, where Lisa tricks Jane into standing guard while she meets with her boyfriend, a tick is found on Jane, and her daughter is no longer allowed to visit as punishment for Jane breaking the rules.
Soon, the girls at Golden Oaks, realize not all is as it seems. When Reagan meets the parent of the baby she carries, she soon learns it was a stand-in.
And Jane learns that her aunt is a recruiter for Golden Oaks, and has been sending young Filipina girls there in exchange for a fee.
When Jane learns her daughter is sick, her and Reagan plot an escape. Reagan pretends to be sick, and in the confusion, Jane escapes into the city to find Amalia.
She goes to the hospital to learn it is her aunt dying, not her daughter. She wants to stay with her aunt, but is taken back to Golden Oaks, where she learns she will not be getting her money for being a surrogate anymore.
The story ends with her and Amalia happily together, as Jane works once again as a baby-nurse for a wealthy family.
I was very excited to read The Farm. There was so much hype built up around this book. With hints of dystopia, and an interesting plot line, The Farm offers more than it delivers in my opinion.
I liked having the main character be a Filipina woman, having never read a book with a Filipina as the main character. I liked that Jane fought against the stereotype of the submissive Asian woman, and had grown some back-bone by the end.
I also liked that the story used alternating points-of-view. We got to hear from Jane, Reagan, Jane's aunt, and the owner of Golden Oaks. It really helped round out the plot and gave the reader more people to root for.
I didn't love Ramos's style. Her writing was a little bland for me. There was nothing stylistically impressive, and I found the style a little boring to read. It took some focus on my part to stay invested in the novel.
I also didn't like that the novel was not actually a dystopian novel. It was billed as a dystopian, but lacked many of the elements of a dystopic novel. I would have liked more dystopian elements; I think it would have added something more to the novel.
I give The Farm a 3 out of 5. I think it could have delivered on so much more.