Book Review – Sourdough by Robin Sloan

I’m not really sure where to start with describing this book – it’s…original!


Louis is a computer programmer who, upon moving to California, discovers the Clement Street food delivery service – a small business run by two brothers from an unmarked location. She befriends the brothers and loves their food, and when they leave the area she is gifted their unique and mysterious sourdough starter, which she uses to change her life irrevocably.




I discovered this book after asking for childless-friendly recommendations on a Facebook group and I’m so glad I did. I’m not sure I ever would have found this book otherwise; I really enjoyed it, and it’s a perfect NoMo pick due to the complete absense of child-centric thinking.


Louis is a character who seems happy with her (childless) life – she has a great job which is well paid and interesting and takes up most of her time. That is until she meets the brothers from the Clement Street Food Delivery Service. Her job as a programmer means working long and late, so cooking at the end of the day just isn’t a priority for Louis. Along with an interesting plot about a product called ‘Slurry’ which is a nutritive gel aimed at replacing the need for food, Louis discovers the wonders of making her own bread. But this is no ordinary bread – every loaf has a face baked into the crust; sometimes smiling, other times sinister, it’s almost as if the sourdough starter has a sentience of its own…


The writing is clever and easy to get lost in; the plot was just the right mix of build up and action. Although I don’t feel like I got to know Louis as well as I’d have liked, the plot more than compensated for the slower character development.



It’s difficult to say much more without spoiling the story, so just know this: it’s a little bit alien-invasion, a little bit magical, with a dry humour that had me snorting to myself while reading quietly in the corner.



I’m pleased to be using this book for the February NoMo Book Club pick 2021 and hope you’ll enjoy reading this trigger-free genre-bending novel.


View this book on Goodreads

This is one of those very rare books that doesn’t have a SINGLE CHILD REFERENCE!


There is no mention of the protagonist or any supporting characters having children, and the only familial note is about the Mazg and their culture.


Overall, I believe this book is free of childless triggers.

Author details 

You can visit Robin’s blog at

or find him on social media:

Twitter: @robinsloan

Instagram: @robinsloan

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