Review Blog

Feb 04 2016

Lullaby by Bernard Beckett

cover image

Text Publishing, 2015. ISBN 9781922182753
(Ages: 12+) Highly recommended. Beckett always has an interesting story to tell, as shown by the success of Genesis and August, stories which challenged the reader's moral compass with scientific and philosophical questions. Lullaby raises concerns about medical research and psychological testing. Rene's twin brother Theo lies unconscious in hospital with severe brain damage after a freak accident. Over the next 24 hours, Rene is considering saving his brother by participating in a new and experimental medical procedure, which is being promoted by a surgeon but cautioned about by a psychologist. Both professionals must attest to Rene's suitability for the surgery.
While considering whether to consent, Rene reveals to the reader and to the psychologist details of his family background, including the loss of his parents and the relationship he has had with his brother. Cleverly structured in this way, we learn much about the two boys' different talents, ambitions and rivalries. The title may suggest otherwise but this is a challenging, thought provoking and disturbing read, set in the not too distant future when such extraordinary decisions may be asked of us!
A highly recommended book, Lullaby is an intelligent story; its themes inviting immediate responses, and which remain with the reader long after reading.
Julie Wells

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