Lois Clary, a typical Silicon Valley programmer, receives a sourdough starter from two brothers who are part of a small community called the Mazg. As Lois bakes with the starter, she observes strange effects – each loaf has a face in the crust. She quits her job and devotes herself to running a stall at a farmer’s market, where she encounters rather eccentric products – from cricket cookies to fungus-infected lemons – and a vendor who has a dark idea about how to use Lois’s unique sourdough starter.
Although the plot moves slowly at first, it soon accelerates and finishes with a conclusion that truly provides closure. However, I definitely wanted to see more of Lois’s internal journey, especially at key moments like quitting her job. Nevertheless, this lack did not significantly change the experience – Sourdough, still forced me to distance myself from the comfortable world I know and consider larger things.
Sourdough is less an entertaining read than a meditation on life in all forms and the impact of technological progress. If you can get past the premise (which, I will admit, I was skeptical of at first), Sourdough will make you contemplate that which we know but never stop to really observe. – Tasha M. ’20