Love & Saffron: A Novel of Friendship, Food, and Love (Hardcover)
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February 2022 Indie Next List
“Love & Saffron reminds us of the beauty of letter writing. I loved the simplicity of this book — it filled my heart with love and connection to the human spirit, and left me with the desire to kindle a friendship by sending a letter.”
— Annette Avery, Bright Side Bookshop, Flagstaff, AZ
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.
One of The Buzz Magazine’s Best Books of 2022
Shortlisted for the 2022 RUSA Reading List for Relationship Fiction
One of Zibby Mag’s Ten Books to Awaken Your Appetite
One of Library Journal’s Historical Fiction Bestsellers for June 2022
One of Booklist’s Editors’ Choice for Audiobooks
One of Wit and Delight’s 6 Meaningful, Captivating Books to Gift this Holiday Season
“Impossible to put down… By the end, I was shedding tears along with the characters, and felt as if I’d made two friends. This is an irresistible story of two women from a lost time, both determined to make the best of things." —The Seattle Times
“Delicious food, wonderful characters, and adventures abound in this delightful story that simmers with affection.” —Christian Science Monitor
“Food is far from the only thing to provide nourishment: I absolutely loved this novel….I wanted to go on reading it forever.” —Nigella Lawson, author of Cook, Eat, Repeat
“Insanely cozy and has stayed with me for months. Be prepared to crave literally every dish mentioned including a cold glass of Chablis and clams…From recipes to sickness, racism, and love, two unlikely women face the worlds they live in and find comfort in each other.” –Zibby Mag
“Unutterably delightful… Perfect for those burned out by current news cycles, Love & Saffron is a gentle escape to the past, and also a reminder both that others have survived ‘unprecedented times,’ and that deep connections can be made even when people are physically separated.” —Shelf Awareness
“Part historical fiction, part friendship saga, and part carnival for the senses, Love & Saffron isn't just for food lovers—it's an ode to risk-takers, trailblazers, and the chefs in all of us….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
“The story leaves the reader wanting more-more recipes, more letters, more time in the gentle, unfolding friendship of these two women. A glimpse into a friendship that doesn't hesitate to touch on joy, sadness, love, and death." —Kirkus Reviews
“A delectable second novel showing how food can bring people together, even across distances and cultures…Fay’s emotionally generous novel demonstrates how people’s worlds can expand when they open themselves to new possibilities. Readers will be touched by this enriching tale and inspired to embark on their own international culinary adventures.” —Booklist
“This gentle story about female friendship is sure to be a hit with foodies and fans of early 1960s America.” —Historical Novels Review
“Warm, delicious, and absolutely satisfying—I devoured it in one enthusiastic gulp!”—Meg Waite Clayton, author of The Last Train to London and The Postmistress of Paris