At a Glance
Author: Robin Sloan
Expected Publication: September 5, 2018 by MCD Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Genre: Magic Realism, Fiction, Fantasy, Food & Drink
Goodreads Rating: 3.76 out of 4.00
“Lois Clary, a software engineer at a San Francisco robotics company, codes all day and collapses at night. When her favourite sandwich shop closes up, the owners leave her with the starter for their mouthwatering sourdough bread.
Lois becomes the unlikely hero tasked to care for it, bake with it and keep this needy colony of microorganisms alive. Soon she is baking loaves daily and taking them to the farmer’s market, where an exclusive close-knit club runs the show.
When Lois discovers another, more secret market, aiming to fuse food and technology, a whole other world opens up. But who are these people, exactly?”
I’d spent the last couple of weeks of June having a major book slump & I was looking for a short easy read to help get myself out of the slump. I had previously stumbled upon Sourdough back in March as a Book of the Month add-on, but had never picked it up. So I figured it would be a perfect time to get this book. I mean buying books can help get you out a reading slump too right? I’m really glad I picked this book up. It was exactly what I was hoping for but better! I mean this book mixes food, tech, and a little bit of magic realism, what’s not to love?
Let me start by saying, read this book with food. Do not read on an empty stomach, you will be craving some warm fresh bread through 99.9% of the story. You’ve been warned.
Lois Clary is a mid-twenty year old working non-stop for a robotics company in Silicon Valley. She’s lonely and has never cooked in her life until she is gifted with a ‘magic’ sourdough bread starter by the owners of her favorite sandwich shop. The starter having a mind of it’s own inspires Lois to try baking which in turn leads her on an adventure into San Francisco’s underground food scene. There she discovers that food is more than food, it’s an experience. And that her expertise in technology might even give her a unique selling point for her our cooking.
I really felt that I related to Lois a bit. I’ve been in the technology industry for the last 6 years and some of the comments she made about the industry hit close to home for me. On top of that, Lois is struggling to understand who she is and what she wants out of life as a mid-twenty something year old. I think we all go through phases were we’re not sure what our next steps are and Sloan captures that struggle amazingly. I appreciated that it’s a subtle expression of the struggle instead of this huge all encompassing thing. It’s much more relatable that way and really gives a sense of optimism and hope for all those looking for purpose.
Sourdough is a quirky fun read that has an unusal plot and was perfect for breaking my book slump a few months ago. While most reviews wish there was less mythical magic with the bread starter, I loved the extra magic mixed into the plot. This book is unexpected and I highly recommend it, as long as you have some fresh baked bread next to you. ★★★★ from me! Get it HERE