Val's Pick: "Love & Saffron" by Kim Fay
If you’re looking for a novel that is short and sweet, please try Love & Saffron by Kim Fay. This book was published in February of 2022, and I am so mad at myself that I waited until just recently to read it.
Love & Saffron tells the story of an unlikely friendship between Joan (age 27) and Imogen (age 59) that develops through a series of letters centered around food. Not only does their age difference make their friendship unique but they are also physically distanced from each other - Joan lives in Los Angeles and Imogen lives near Seattle, Their relationship quickly grows from sharing recipes and cooking tips into a full-fledged friendship.
The novel takes place in the 1960s when the methods of communicating long distances were mostly limited to letters and expensive phone calls. Therefore, the majority of the novel is written in epistolary (letter) format. This makes their story feel intimate, almost like you are reading someone’s diary. In their letters to each other, Joan and Imogen reflect on some of the events of the 1960s, among them the Cuban missile crisis, the changing culture, and the assassination of JFK. These shared experiences strengthen their friendship as they reflect on them in their letters to each other.
Although Love & Saffron is a short novel (208 pages), the story of Joan and Imogen’s friendship will stay with you for a long time.