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Publisher's Summary

The Instant National Bestseller and #1 Indie Next Pick

In the vein of the classic 84, Charing Cross Road, this witty and tender novel follows two women in 1960s America as they discover that food really does connect us all, and that friendship and laughter are the best medicine.

When twenty-seven-year-old Joan Bergstrom sends a fan letter—as well as a gift of saffron—to fifty-nine-year-old Imogen Fortier, a life-changing friendship begins. Joan lives in Los Angeles and is just starting out as a writer for the newspaper food pages. Imogen lives on Camano Island outside Seattle, writing a monthly column for a Pacific Northwest magazine, and while she can hunt elk and dig for clams, she’s never tasted fresh garlic—exotic fare in the Northwest of the sixties. As the two women commune through their letters, they build a closeness that sustains them through the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of President Kennedy, and the unexpected in their own lives.

Food and a good life—they can’t be separated. It is a discovery the women share, not only with each other, but with the men in their lives. Because of her correspondence with Joan, Imogen’s decades-long marriage blossoms into something new and exciting, and in turn, Joan learns that true love does not always come in the form we expect it to. Into this beautiful, intimate world comes the ultimate test of Joan and Imogen’s friendship—a test that summons their unconditional trust in each other. 

A brief respite from our chaotic world, Love & Saffron is a gem of a novel, a reminder that food and friendship are the antidote to most any heartache, and that human connection will always be worth creating. 

©2022 Kim Fay (P)2022 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"With lush descriptions of food and a resonant historical setting, Love & Saffron is a sweet, savory, and emotional pleasure. It's like a dinner with friends you won't want to end." (J. Ryan Stradal, author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest)

“In Kim Fay’s charming novel two women in 1960s Los Angeles and Washington state become the best of friends long before they meet in person. Together, they navigate relationships, ambition, societal expectations, and the arts of making and writing about food.  Warm, delicious, and absolutely satisfying - I devoured in one enthusiastic gulp!” (Meg Waite Clayton, author of The Last Train to London and The Postmistress of Paris)

"In an age when we're barraged with Twitter blow-ups, pandemic deaths, and political discourse of the most uncivil kind, Love & Saffron is as refreshing as watching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean, with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and a bowl of garlicky clams at your elbow. Kim Fay convincingly recreates a charming and civil world, and a touching friendship, in a period piece that will restore you to your kinder, gentler self.” (Richard C. Morais, author of The Hundred Foot Journey

What listeners say about Love & Saffron

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More than just recipes

This was a story that spoke of a beautiful friendship that developed through written correspondence. It was in the 60’s and the story infuses the reality of the time talking about the death of President Kennedy and how people did not accept marriages between mixed races. It also talks about the plight of woman during that time in history. I really would have loved to know the characters in the book. The author is great a character development. The book was the perfect length!

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A Reading Joy

Kim Fay's LOVE & SAFFRON is heart warming and a pleasure to read. It's an epistolary (written in letters) between two women whose friendship grows through the experiences (and recipes) they share.

One woman is older, married, lives in Washington state, and writes a newsy, "down home" column. The other is a single, younger gal living in Los Angeles who works for a local newspaper.

The younger begins the correspondence with praise for a column she read and a gift of saffron. The Seattle woman responds with surprise snd joy. And so begins a sweet, deep, lasting friendship. Only once do they actually meet in person.

The women share cooking ideas, hopes and dreams, experiences, and heartaches. A few secrets also get passed along. Each is lovingly "there" for the other in their time of need.

This is a short book, meant to be read in one sitting, but I listened to it over a few days of travel. I was sorry when it ended. Kim Fay's writing is smooth and authentic. The research she did for the era (1960's) was remarkable. (I remember it well.)

The narrators for the women, and a snippet of other characters, are easy to distinguish and listen to.

I highly recommend this book to women of all ages, especially those who like to write (letters or otherwise) and love interesting recipes and cooking. (There is also a sweet romance "on the side.")

FIVE stars.

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What an amazing book !

thank you. this beautiful story was just what i needed and the narration was spectacular. I will think of this story long after and reread it