Author: Robin Sloan
Publisher: MCD / Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
From FSG: 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?
My Review: SOURDOUGH is the most unique book I’ve read to date. A magnificent marriage between software robotics and sourdough starter. The concept is so far out that it’s brilliant!
When Lois inherits the sourdough starter from her favourite hole-in-the-wall restaurant complete with instructions to feed it and grow it she never imagined the new life she and her starter would take on. Lois feeds the starter and plays music to it and in return the starter sings and gurgles and produces loaf after loaf of delicious sourdough bread loved by her friends and co-workers.
Soon the high demands of her engineering job get in the way of her sourdough production and Lois must choose between her well paid, intense career where she’s overworked and plagued with an unhealthy gut or design a robotic arm to make her beloved sourdough bread.
SOURDOUGH is charming, soul-warming and makes me wish I had my very own starter culture to dote over and bake bread from.