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June Hur Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Silence of Bones (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

June Hur is a young adult, mystery and historical fiction author best known for her debut novel “The Silence of Bones.” Hur was born in South Korea but her parents moved to Canada when she was but a child. She moved back to Korea for her high school studies then went back to Canada to attend the University of Toronto, where she studied Literature and History. While she was born in Canada, she was inspired to write about Joseon (Korea) since she almost knew nothing about the country of her birth. Hur published her debut novel “The Silence of Bones” in 2020. Inspired by her journey as a Christian, dreamer, and individual, it tells a story of the lead characters with all the magnificence, doubts and confusion that usually plague a young woman as she comes to age. The American Booksellers Association listed the novel as one of its top debuts of 2020. She currently lives in Toronto with her husband and child and when she is not writing, she loves spending time reading, finding a new book at the bookstores, watching a movie and eating junk food with her sister.

Unlike many authors, June Hur never wanted to become an author and in fact hated reading, writing and English in her younger years. Everything would change when she read “Pride and Prejudice.” She became so obsessed with the story and wrote several fan fiction sequels to the story, testing out a variety of endings that she thought made more sense. After writing fan fiction for more than a year, she decided that it was time to write her own fiction. Her first ever attempt was a regency novel she titled “The Runaway Courtesan” that she finished writing in 2010. A ton of querying and submissions brought nothing but frustration and despair. For nearly a decade after that she did not see much success with her historical romances set in Regency England but her passion and determination to make it as a professional author grew ever greater. In 2019, she finally got her breakthrough when her agent Amy Bishop got her manuscript for The Silence of Bones accepted for publishing. While she is a voracious reader of historical romance, her biggest inspiration is literature and biographies from the nineteenth and eighteenth centuries. Her favorite novels include the biography “The Duchess” by Amanda Foreman, “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte, “Anything” by Jane Austen, “The End of the Affair” by Graham Green, “Cousin Kate” by Theodore Dreier, “Evalina” by Fanny Burney, and “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte.

According to June Hur, “The Silence of the Bones” is her love letter to her heritage, having been born in Korea. She had spent much of her teenage years obsessing over BBC dramas, Jane Austen and British history but knew almost nothing about her country of birth except for a few short stories her parents narrated to her. She also got a few snippets in Korean history class when she was a high schooler in South Korea. In 2015 Hur’s curiosity about Korean history peaked and fascinated by it, she decided to write a historical mystery set in the 1800s Korean Kingdom. At the heart of the novel is a personal history inspired by the dispersion of her family as she spent most of her young adult life away from relatives. Bugged by the questions such as where is home when you have lived apart from relatives all your life? and what will it take to prevent things from falling apart in a situation when everyone seems to be heading in different directions? Set in an atmospheric setting full of oceans and paddy fields foggy cities and hazy and misty mountains, it explores what happens when humans are pushed to breaking point. It is also an exploration of the way people can disappoint or surprise us by shattering our romanticized internal image of them. The core themes of Hur’s novel are family relationships. Courage, feminism, and morality.

June Hur’s “The Silence of Bones” is a historical novel inspired by the Korean era. It opens to a girl named Seol looking for her brother that had gone missing. She works as an indentured servant under Inspector Han of the police Bureau of Hanyang. She has always been a curious persona and hence when she stumbles upon a mysterious and complicated murder she decides to work on it outside the legal channels. She also hopes to clear the name of the inspector who had been so good to her that she has a deep sense of affection and loyalty to him. The story develops from the murder case and soon includes religious clashes and politics that make Seol’s work ever harder. It does not help that she is a woman who is forbidden from doing certain things in the conservative Joseon kingdom. The novel is full of interesting twists and turns which turn into something even more complicated halfway into the novel. Seol is an unreliable narrator who does not remember the reason her brother ran off or much of her family’s history. As such, the emphasis and motivation of the investigation is fluid and what had been a curiosity for Seol soon turns into a cause and later a race against time to unearth the truth.

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