Saturday, April 13, 2019

Book Review - The Farm by Joanne Ramos

Photo Credit - Amazon

Somewhere hidden in the Hudson Valley, New York is  luxurious retreat with every amenity imaginable available. Participants have access to organic meals, personal fitness trainers, massages, beautiful and personal rooms. People who stay at the retreat reeive a small fortune in exchange for living there for full nine months of their pregnancy on the retreat property. The hosts are not allowed to leave the property and have their movements monitored in hopes that they will produce the perfect baby for someone else.

Jane is recently divorced single mother, who lives with her older cousin, Ate in a boarding house. As an immigrant from the Philippines, she has limited opportunities for a better life.  She is desperate to find a job that pays enough to take care of her daughter. Without much options, she takes on the opportunity to be a host at the Golden Oaks retreat. Jane becomes homesick and begins to miss her daughter. She yearns to be reconnected with her life outside of Golden Oaks. However, she cannot leave the retreat otherwise, she will lose out of the bonus on deliverying her child.

When I first read the summary of this novel, I was very excited to start reading it. However, I felt disappointed after completing the novel. I felt like the novel built up some great horrorific story about the retreat but, didn't actually quite deliver. Yes, being monitored and having limited outside interaction is scary but, quite understandable for the safety and privacy of the clients. After reading the novel, the story felt pointless especially, the ending. It was abrupt and jarring. I am not sure what the purpose of not only the ending but, the entire book. After I finished reading the novel, I was left wanting more from it. Maybe a secret plot of producing multiple babies for each client and only the best speciem survives (yes, this makes me terrible human to say that but, I was hoping for something that was so shocking and scary). Although, I did like that the author included a lot of minority women but, as one can say, they were taken advantage of. Overall, I would have liked this book if it had more going on and the writing was smoother and more fluid.

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