Author: Robin Sloan
“Lois Clary is a software engineer at General Dexterity, a San Francisco robotics company with world-changing ambitions. She codes all day and collapses at night, her human contact limited to the two brothers who run the neighborhood hole-in-the-wall from which she orders dinner every evening. Then, disaster! Visa issues. The brothers close up shop, and fast. But they have one last delivery for Lois: their culture, the sourdough starter used to bake their bread. She must keep it alive, they tell her—feed it daily, play it music, and learn to bake with it.
Lois is no baker, but she could use a roommate, even if it is a needy colony of microorganisms. Soon, not only is she eating her own homemade bread, she’s providing loaves daily to the General Dexterity cafeteria. The company chef urges her to take her product to the farmer’s market, and a whole new world opens up.
When Lois comes before the jury that decides who sells what at Bay Area markets, she encounters a close-knit club with no appetite for new members. But then, an alternative emerges: a secret market that aims to fuse food and technology. But who are these people, exactly?”
I’ve always held firmly in the belief that bread is magic and it was nice to find a book that had a whole plot based around it! Sourdough was a strange book, but that’s what made me like it more.
It was pretty much just a fun, light read with an open happy ending. Lois was a cool character. Reading her trying to code cooking bread the same way she coded at work was interesting. The Clement Street starter was, I assume, magic and that’s what every book needs. Magic yeast! The Lois club was so cute. I wish there was an Alysia club somewhere (maybe I should start one…).
Sourdough’s tension came from the fact that Lois found herself falling into the same place as when she first came to San Fransico to work at her Silicon Valley start-up. It was consuming her life and instead of baking being fun and filling her with pride, it caused a lot of trouble.
My favorite thing about Sourdough was that Lois’ fulfillment had nothing to do with a relationship. Yeah, at the end she goes to Berlin to bake bread with Beo (on the brothers who gave her the Clement Street starter) but as a whole, Lois found purpose in the bread.
While I liked this book a lot, I’m honestly struggling to remember anything to write about why I liked it. Were there things wrong with it? Sure, but not enough to stick out. Was it a good book? I’d say so, but there isn’t anything to rave about either.
Would I recommend this book? If someone out there wants to read a book about woman nerding out about a sourdough starter that almost consumed an entire island, then yes, I would.