24 June 2015


I read the ending three times. I’m still not 100% sure what happened. I love that I’m still thinking about it and have been for weeks.

Renee and Theo are twin brothers but there’s little the same about them. A freak accident leaves Theo with severely damaged brain functioning. The only hope is a controversial new medical procedure. There are questions about whether it can even be done and a big question about whether it should be.

Only Renee can give the necessary consent. Without him, there is no procedure.

Renee decides he can make the necessary sacrifice to hopefully save his brother, but will the medical experts let him? Will the psychologist deem he is able to make an informed decision?

Maggie begins to question Renee and the more she probes, the more Renee is forced to unravel his relationship with Theo and question what he should do. The relationship Renee reveals is not one of loving brothers but of betrayal and misplaced trust. Sometimes the analysis helps him collect his thoughts and sometimes it hinders. Is trauma changing the reality or was it always this way?

“Stories never come loose cleanly; everything’s always tangled up with something else.”

The deadline for decision time approaches quickly. Dr Huxley has his agenda and Maggie finds her own questions to answer. Now, Renee must decide what he really feels about his brother and whether that even matters.

This is both a complex and readable book. It’s a provoking look the ethics of death and technology through the story of two brothers. It can’t fail to make the reader think long past the last chapter. Or are there two last chapters? Is that even possible?

Reviewed by Sandy Fussell

Title: Lullaby
Author: Bernard Beckett
Publisher:  Text Publishing
Publication Date: $19.99 RRP
Format: Paperback
Type: Young Adult Fiction

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