Farm – book review

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The Farm
by Joanne Ramos
Realistic Fiction
adults

* * * Stars (Pretty good)
Follows the stories/viewpoints of several women involved in Golden Oaks aka “The Farm,” where female surrogates carry the fetuses of well-paying customers to term – receiving bonuses for good behavior and successful births. Jane’s older cousin convinces her to interview for The Farm after she loses her position as a baby nurse, and feels she has no other viable options. When she is accepted it is bittersweet news, as she must leave behind her newborn daughter, Amalia, in her cousin’s care. As the months pass, her concerns for her own baby and mistrust of her cousin grow culminating in a act that may violate the terms of her contract. Reagan, another young surrogate mother also at Golden Oaks comes from a completely different socioeconomic background from Jane (white, privileged, college-educated, while Jane is a recent immigrant from the Philippines), but she and Jane become close after being roommates. We also hear from Jane’s cousin, as well as Mae Yu, the successful businesswoman in charge of overseeing the operations at Golden Oaks. While all of the surrogates are well-cared for, it’s really the health of the babies they carry that are most important to their clients (and to the commercial interests of Golden Oaks and its investors). Is it an exploitative, dystopian baby farm, or a wonderful opportunity for everyone involved?

Reviewed by YA Librarian