By: Joanne Ramos
2 out of 5
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Suburbia, Interrupted Review
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for the ARC of THE FARM, in exchange for an honest review.
First off, the synopsis of THE FARM promises much more than the book actually delivers. Second, labeling THE FARM as dystopian, IMO, is wrong. THE FARM isn’t dystopian. It is a story of what is occurring, present day, in America.
The “farm” is Golden Oaks, a place where Hosts (surrogates) live while carrying the babies of wealthy clients. It is also a place where manipulation and power are used as weapons. Hosts, the majority being poor immigrants, are vetted and sign contracts to give up their lives outside Golden Oaks for nine months. Payments are made to the Host in incremental amounts throughout their stay, with a bonus paid out once the baby has been born without issue.
Attempting to frame THE FARM as a dystopian story is naive. The premise of THE FARM is alive and well. The wealthy do seek perfect surrogates to carry their babies, whether because they cannot or vanity. Immigrants in America do take jobs which take them away from their own children and families. My problem with the entirety of THE FARM is the feeling I had from page one- the book, to me, reads as a sympathetic voice of the wealthy.
THE FARM seems to portray immigrants as manipulated pawns who can be tricked into anything if money is waved in front of them. Compared to the character development and details of the wealthy characters, I felt as though the immigrant characters in the book were not fully developed, their lives and stories written with less detail. I will not become a sympathizer of wealth and felt like the wrong characters in THE FARM were glorified.
I wanted to stop reading THE FARM for a majority of the book but didn’t. I finished THE FARM in a really pissed off mood. The author attempts a final push of sympathy for the wealthy on us as if the manipulation of a lower-classed person is actually bettering the life of someone who became a pawn in a vicious circle of greed and power.
THE FARM would have been a powerful book on class and greed within our society if it lived up to its synopsis and focused on the marginalized community instead of reading as a cloak for the wealthy.