The Farm

A novel by Joanne Ramos.

Joanne Ramos

Nestled in New York's Hudson Valley is a luxury retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, personal fitness trainers, daily massages — and all of it for free. In fact, you're paid big money to stay here — more than you've ever dreamed of. The catch? For nine months, you cannot leave the grounds, your movements are monitored, and you are cut off from your former life while you dedicate yourself to the task of producing the perfect baby. For someone else.

Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines, is in desperate search of a better future when she commits to being a "Host" at Golden Oaks — or the Farm, as residents call it. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her family, Jane is determined to reconnect with her life outside. Yet she cannot leave the Farm or she will lose the life-changing fee she'll receive on the delivery of her child. (From Doubleday Canada)

From the book

The emergency room is an assault. There are too many people and the din of their voices is too loud. Jane is sweating — it is hot outside, and the walk from the subway was long. She stands at the entrance, immobilized by the noise and the lights and the multitude. Her hand instinctively moves to cover Amalia, who still sleeps on her chest.

Ate is here somewhere. Jane ventures into the waiting area. She sees a figure that resembles her cousin. She is dressed in white — Ate will be wearing her nursing uniform — but the woman is Americana, and too young. Jane scans the seated crowd and begins to search for Ate row by row, feeling a growing apprehension, though she tries to stifle it. Ate always says Jane worries too much and too soon, before she knows anything is even wrong. And her cousin is hardy. She did not even get sick from the stomach virus that swept through the entire dormitory over the summer. It was Ate who took the lead in nursing her dorm-mates back to health — bringing ginger tea to their bunks, washing their soiled clothes — even though many of them were half her age and most much younger.

From The Farm by Joanne Ramos ©2019. Published by Doubleday Canada.

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