Emma lives on the grey, cold, lonely side of a wall, where people speak in whispers and no flowers grow. On the other side, there is happiness and colour, but she can never go there. When Emma's parents disappear, she is sent to live with her Aunt Lily, who, "just like the land withered from lack of sunshine, was broken by the life she led." One day, Aunt Lily discovers Emma drawing and dashes her niece's dream of becoming an artist. That is, until one day, when a strange boat captain, and an even stranger boat, arrive, and she leaves her world behind forever.
Following Emma's arrival in a strange land (Halifax's Pier 21), her placement in a group home, and the discovery of her voice through art, The Land Beyond the Wall is a beautifully rendered allegory that uses magic realism to confront the harsh realities of immigration, and the universal struggle of finding one's voice, and one's place in the world.