Author: Robin Sloan
Published: September 5, 2017
Genre: Fiction, Magical Realism, Contemporary
Goodreads Description: 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?
How do I even begin to write a review for this book?
The most basic and superficial description of this novel is that it is a book about baking bread. Your initial reaction to this statement might be to dismiss this book, and I get it—who wants to read a story about bread? Nonetheless, Sourdough won the 2017 Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction, a point that prevented me from disregarding the novel and ultimately made me decide to give it a shot.
I think it’s best to go into this book with as little information about it as possible and to let it suck you in with it’s strange magic. The writing was cinematic and quirky, with the author delivering subtle, witty lines almost every other sentence. The plot-line was a string of farcical events that had me laughing out loud like a weirdo in public
(but definitely worth the unimpressed side glances), and the characters were lovable caricatures of people we all know in real life.
There were multiple moments where I thought to myself, “Honestly, what the f*** am I reading?”
Yet, I didn’t want to put down the book.
The further I got into the story, the more intrigued I became and determined to uncover the deeper meaning of the book. I was convinced that the book had to have a greater significance than just being about sourdough to be rewarded a Goodreads title. To be honest, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve finished Sourdough, and I’m still not sure what the point of the story was. I like to think that there truly isn’t any big, hidden importance to the story—that it’s just meant to be read as it is and not read too much into. It’s just an entertaining piece about bread because the author had an idea one day that they could build a whole story around something as mundane as yeast. And really, ᴛʜᴀᴛ’s ᴛʜᴇ ᴛʜɪɴɢ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ɢᴇᴛs ᴍᴇ ᴀʙᴏᴜᴛ ᴛʜɪs ʙᴏᴏᴋ. Sloan must be a damn good author for me to have been so invested in a book about BREAD.
While there are plenty of themes that you can gather if you’re determined to analyze Sourdough as I was, the core of the story is just a comical plot about the title-word of the book—sourdough. This book is ultimately a good light-hearted read that’s sure to puzzle, amuse, and hunger you.