Genres: Contemporary, Magical Realism
Sourdough is such a gem of a book. It tells the story of Lois, a software engineer who just got what should be her dream job: programming robotic arms to perform tasks and earning more than both her parents combined. She made it! A big job not long after graduating! However, as the work goes on, she slowly finds herself feeling discouraged, demotivated and with stomach pains that the company restaurant food seems to aggravate. One day, she finds a menu at her doorstep, and decides to try their spicy soup and sandwich – and it’s love at first bite. Her love for the spicy food and the amazing sourdough slowly helps heal her stomach pains and anxiety, but the restaurant owner must leave and close the delivery service. Before leaving, he gives her a starter to make their famous sourdough. She must keep it alive, feed it everyday and play music for it. As she learns how to bake (at first rather disastrously), she finds a passion for it she didn’t expect at all – and her sourdough comes out with faces on the bread crust for some mysterious reason.
My gosh, this book gave me all the happy feelings (and cravings). In fact, I just ate some bread after writing the description above. I was surprised by how quickly I related to Lois, and I think a lot of other young people will, too. She is smart and competent, stuck in a job where she has lots to prove and isn’t entirely happy in. She struggles to fit in a bit, especially being a woman in software engineering. She is witty and funny (I giggled a lot throughout the book), and it was so nice watching her become more assured of who she is and wants to become. I don’t think I will ever leave my job (I actually do love it) but as a young woman in Engineering, I related a lot to her – I created this blog to fulfill a whole in my life that lacked the kind of passion that Engineering couldn’t fulfill.
This book was so lovely and charming, it made my heart a bit warmer in this January cold. I kept waiting for a Very Terrible Thing to happen that would have me in tears, but while there is conflict in this book, of course, and plot twists, there aren’t, you know, tragic deaths, maiming, or other things that apparently I’m used to expecting from books (so much dark fantasy in my life). This is outright loveliness, a pinch of romance, and quite some carb-craving.