Anna Quon's debut novel Migration Songs is a hopeful sign for Atlantic Canadian literature moving beyond the traditional rural stories and recognizing that we don't all share the same history. Though Quon's Halifax is a blur---this is really a story about the interior life and struggles of Joan, a jobless 30-year-old loner, who feels out of place in this world: "Inside I am dark and shady, like a copper beech, rattling its leaves in the breeze." Joan's fragility is protected by matronly Hungarian neighbour Edna, Joan's British father, David, a staunch Mao supporter, and her mother Gillian, a Chinese-Canadian immigrant. Quon has already mastered the power of restraint, shrinking her character down in size, quietly living in the shadow of her parents and their stories. A strong debut from a new hopeful voice.