Sourdough by Robin Sloan

Rating –  4.75 out of 5

In Sourdough by Robin Sloan, Louis Clary is a talented programmer that moves to the bay area to work for one of the large tech companies on some of the hardest technological problems of the day. What she finds is that the work is soul crushing and does not fill her very human needs. She soon finds herself seeking the comfort of a bread made by other transplants to the area, a set of brothers, a sourdough with an incredible healing quality. When the brothers leave the area, they must leave their incredible sourdough starter behind, and Louis takes it, embarking on an adventure to learn to bake bread, and to find herself.

Favorite Quote

“I have come to believe that food is history of the deepest kind. Everything we eat tells a tale of ingenuity and creation, domination and injustice-and does so more vividly than any other artifact, any other medium.”

― Robin Sloan, Sourdough

Why I liked Sourdough by Robin Sloan

When you write a book about food you have to start with someone who is hungry. Louis Clary is the perfect subject for a book about finding yourself with a grand mission, she’s smart, loves to solve big problems and most important of all she is hungry for something more. I commend Sloan for writing so clearly about the problem of dissatisfaction and hunger for something more in the age of digital transformation. Especially since he writes his novels placed in the hot bed of tech companies that is San Francisco, he is able to draw the contrasts from the way that corporate life works in the valley to the world functioning outside of that.

The plot of this novel is meandering and did not end up where I thought it would. This was brilliant because it kept me on my toes the whole time. I wanted more. The story worked well to show what it would look like to go through a problem like this – sometimes you find something new and get knocked off the course you started. The honest, and connected way this book is written, reminds me of a Wes Anderson movie. The irreverence and its details, pull the narrative together beautifully. While I never wrote about Sloan’s other book Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, it has all the same markers of a fantastic story filled with beautiful characters all brought together seemingly by chance to work on a big problem. I cannot recommend either of these books highly enough..

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