Lois Clary is the millennial who has it all. She has graduated with a degree in computer science and started working for a software company in Michigan. She is then recruited through her LinkedIn profile for a position at General Dexterity, a company in San Francisco designing robot arms. She accepts the job and moves to San Fransisco making way more money and living in an outrageously expensive, tiny apartment in the city. Dream come true.
But with this dream job comes a challenging work ethic. Lois spends most of her time at work and the stress of her job results in stomach problems.
My face was not fresh.
My hair had gone flat and thin.
My stomach hurt.
Can we all relate here?
It all gets worse as Lois works on solving problems with the robot software. In comes slurry, a packaged, nutrient-packed sludge of a meal replacement. It helps Lois, sorta.
Then a flier arrives under her apartment door. Clement Street Soup and Sourdough. On a whim, Lois orders the double spicy with sourdough, and her life is never the same.
That bread was life.
From that day on, all Lois ate was a double spicy and sourdough bread. Her stomach stopped hurting, her health came back, and she even made new friends, Chaiman and Beoreg who love their number one customer!
But when Chaiman and Beoreg need to leave the country, Lois is in despair. They leave her with their sourdough starter, to nurture and to grow and to make her own sourdough.
With sourdough starter in hand, Lois seeks to make her mark in the farmer’s market. To her surprise, her sourdough and skills as a computer programmer takes her on a journey to find her passion and her happiness.
At first, Sourdough really didn’t seem like a book about much. The format is a little off. We get Lois’s background and her journey with the sourdough. There are communications with Beoreg through out the book too. It took me a couple chapters to really get into the book. And this is the same author who wrote Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.
As I continued through, I found myself relating to this story on so many personal levels. Lois thinks she has it all with this big job in a big city and a big fat paycheck. But she isn’t really happy.
Sloan takes us on this journey as Lois finds her passion and what makes her happy. And for me, that’s more important. And isn’t that what most millennials are dealing with today? We work so hard to ‘make it’ and to ‘be successful,’ but are we really and trully successful? Is being miserable and working ourselves to death really worth it?
I think that every college grad needs to read Sourdough. And not just for the yummy, carb and gluten overload.
Sourdough by Robin Sloan receives 5 stars.
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