Blurb (as on Goodreads):
Nestled in the Hudson Valley is a sumptuous retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, private fitness trainers, daily massages—and all of it for free. In fact, you get paid big money—more than you’ve ever dreamed of—to spend a few seasons in this luxurious locale. The catch? For nine months, you belong to the Farm. You cannot leave the grounds; your every move is monitored. Your former life will seem a world away as you dedicate yourself to the all-consuming task of producing the perfect baby for your überwealthy clients.
Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines and a struggling single mother, is thrilled to make it through the highly competitive Host selection process at the Farm. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her own young daughter’s well-being, Jane grows desperate to reconnect with her life outside. Yet she cannot leave the Farm or she will lose the life-changing fee she’ll receive on delivery—or worse.
Heartbreaking, suspenseful, provocative, The Farm pushes our thinking on motherhood, money, and merit to the extremes, and raises crucial questions about the trade-offs women will make to fortify their futures and the futures of those they love.
‘The Big American Dream’, something that is easily misinterpreted by people, especially immigrants. The logic is simple- earn enough money and a good life follows. But in a progressive country like America, it isn’t exactly a cake walk.
Jane Reyes, a Filipino is a single mother. She lives in an apartment with numerous other immigrants, and barely has any space for herself and her baby girl Amalia. As with any immigrant family, the struggle to make ends meet is real and thus, when confronted about a possible source of income at ‘The Farm’, she readily agrees.
‘The Farm’ makes money by providing surrogate mothers to their rich and influential clients, which in fact is a lot of money for both -the company as well as ‘The Host’. A look inside this ‘Farm’ with tell you the kind of mess it is. Prospective mothers, now apart from their loved ones and under the influence of countless hormones are struggling to find a purpose. Jane worries about her daughter and is not allowed to see her for months altogether.
‘The Farm’ has a dystopic feel to it, but it’s quite modern and basic. The emphasis is on money, race, class, etc. and it has been portrayed in a very plain and straightforward manner. The contrasting atmosphere between a surrogate mother looking for some quick money and a business person trying to expand their business is exceptionally done. The story also eludes a sense of detachment among characters.
But there are some very obvious problems with this book and one of them is the plot. The plot isn’t strong or suspenseful enough, especially the ending. The build-up is pretty intriguing and sounds dangerous but the ending takes a downward curve. The same can be said about the characters. Mrs. Yu, who is otherwise an ambitious person and Ate, whose relationship with Jane is supposed to be conflicting, it’s just not good enough at the end.
‘The Farm’ can be considered as a tragedy in modern-day America, a story about dreams and fortune and that everything comes at a price.
*Thank you to the publisher for a copy of the book. All opinions are my own*