Lois may be a brilliant young programmer who was headhunted to work at a powerful company, but her stomach aches. Her stressful job requires long hours, meaning she’s hardly ever at home, and hardly ever eats a decent meal. In fact, she’s taken to eating Slurry, a greyish goop that’s nutritionally sound and boring, and straight out of an 80s sci-fi flick. Luckily for Lois, and her poor stomach, that is all about to change. Clement Street Soup and Sourdough, a foreign and strangely mystical restaurant, comes to the rescue via a take-out menu. Intrigued, Lois orders a meal, and (as they say in the classics) that changed everything.
To say Lois developed an addiction to the new cuisine is perhaps an understatement. A daily order and blossoming friendship with the restaurant owners leaves her feeling more peaceful than she has in ages. Yet when the brothers who run Clement Street Soup and Sourdough inform her that they’re leaving the country, and cede her their sourdough starter, Lois realizes that there’s way more to life and happiness than work.
Hesitant and inexperienced, Lois learns to bake bread. While doing so, she immerses herself in culinary history, intrigue and research, leading to a world of food she had never considered, and the foodies that populate it.
Sourdough, in a word, is fun. It’s a truly lovely story that’s easy to read, and fills you with the warm fuzzies. It’s also quite fill of dry humour and many pop culture references that will leave any twenty-something snickering and giggling. Well worth the read, as you’ll feel your stress levels decrease. However, be warned, you will not be able to read this without munching something. Sourdough is a joyful, clever ode to food, and every word is delicious. Treat yourself, and your shelf, and get a copy.
Sourdough by Robin Sloan is published by Atlantic Books, an agency of Penguin Random House.