Review: Robin Sloan – Sourdough

Robin Sloan

Lois’ stomach can’t cope with proper food any more, she just feeds it slurry. Her job as a software programmer leaves her stressed and unable to eat. She finds to her surprise however that she can eat ‘double spicy’ and sourdough bread baked by two brothers. When they have to leave the country, they leave her with the start for their sourdough – she must nurture and feed it, and eventually it takes over her life.

I found myself laughing out loud sometimes at the tricks the starter got up to! I wasn’t in the least surprised that it didn’t seem to behave itself like normal starter. I loved the way that Lois gradually became more confident looking after it, and looking after herself.

The romance was subtle, and the sourdough starter supreme. There were elements of technology (solving ‘the egg’ problem was particularly good) and also of what it’s like to work in a high-stress environment. A woman breaking through coding and IT was also refreshing. Somehow it was trying without being trite.

I very much enjoyed it, except the ending. I wanted the starter to keep being awesome! I didn’t want it to mix with the slurry! And I felt a bit betrayed, as a scientist, that there was so much underhanded dealing going on.

This was lent to me by a friend that I share the bounty of our garden with (and vice versa). I’ve not read Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore, although the title agrees with me. I’m going to give this one 4 stars, and highly recommend it to anyone who just feels like a feel-good read.

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