Book Highlight: Love & Saffron by Kim Fay

love and saffron kim fay

Title: Love & Saffron

Author: Kim Fay

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Publication Date: February 8, 2022

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Historical

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.

Why This Book

Love & Saffron is about the friendship two women in two different states, and of two different ages, strike up when one sends a letter to the other in the 1960s. Joan is a young woman in LA who writes about food and eventually goes on food adventures with an older Hispanic man. She deeply admires the older Imogen, who lives outside of Seattle and writes about food, so writes a fan letter, which Imogen answers. Despite their age differences and the distance between them, the two women become the best of friends, exchanging letters over the years, as well as secrets.

Love & Saffron is relatively short, so it’s a quick read, but the story is beautiful and touches on so many things. At the heart, though, is this unlikely friendship that holds these women together as the future brings changes to their lives.


My review: “There’s such an easy, open friendship between them, and I loved how much they cared about each other through all the ups and downs and uncertainties, how they were always there for each other despite the miles separating them. I adored the openness between them, adored how much they came to care for each other despite the fact that, due to the length of time it took letters to be sent back and forth, weeks and months could go by between letters”

Reading Reality gave this 5 stars, saying “Joan and Immy begin their journey far apart, in geography, in age, in circumstance. While those gaps aren’t bridged, they cease to matter. Because what they open up to each other are both their minds and their hearts”

Sincerely Stacie gave this 5 stars, saying “As each woman enters a specific crisis period in their life, the other jumps to offer support without judgment or reproach. Even across the miles, their friendship grows stronger as they travel through joyous and painful experiences in such a short period of time”

Book Barmy said “Love & Saffron is a lovely, quiet novel that has much to say below the surface, but the friendship between two women was the main appeal”

Hopewell’s Public Library of Life rated this a 3, saying, “I must say this book was partially a disappointment–and I had truly expected to love it. An historical fiction pet peeve or two reared its/their head(s) [this ambiguity in counting is dependent upon how you view them].  Times were changing in the early to mid 1960s. but some attitudes expressed in the story were dangerously close to modern”

Purchase Links

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