Arts Literature

Book Feature: The Year of Thorns and Honey

Amy Willoughby-Burle, Author

Year of Thorns and Honey

Amy Willoughby-Burle hopes her latest novel delivers just what readers need—light, peace and hope. “I think connection is a huge need for people right now,” she says. “This is a book for readers who enjoy novels that have tough subjects and weight to them, but are ultimately hopeful and uplifting.” And, she adds, it’s for “the reader who likes to laugh as well.”

Willoughby-Burle grew up in coastal NC and now lives in Candler with her husband and four children. “I also claim to have one of the best day jobs in all the world,” she says. She teaches creative writing and literature to middle and high school students at Elevate Life and Art, an Ashe

ville home school enrichment program. Writing is a passion that has been with her since her time at East Carolina University. “I had always been prone to making up stories, writing poetry and daydreaming characters,” she says, “but it was there that I really began to fan the flames.” She published a short story collection, Out Across the Nowhere, in 2012, and her first novel, The Lemonade Year, in 2018.

Set in Asheville, The Year of Thorns and Honey tells the story of Nina, a photographer with a picture in her head of how her life should be.

Author Heather Bell Adams calls it a “warm, heartfelt story of second chances, exploring how we move forward in grace.”

The Year of Thorns and Honey, September, 2020, fiction, trade paper/$17, e-book/$9.99, by Amy Willoughby-Burle, and published by Ally Press. To learn more about her January blog tour with JustReadTours, visit

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