Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite
Keystone by Bernard Leo Remakus is a novel about a young man’s life told in his own words. Keystone begins with a young boy named Peter Kaminski who lives with his parents in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. His father is a serious-minded Polish immigrant and his mother is more of a city girl who enjoys life and all it has to offer. Peter’s life changes when his mother leaves them to begin a life with a new man, while Peter starts to help his father more in his shoe repair business. However, Peter and his father both have dreams that take Peter through studying and working to trying to get into college and medical school. During this time, he meets and marries Lori, who becomes the love of his life. However, problems arise when he starts medical school and with his long hours, and his passion and commitment to medical school, lead to a building tension in their marriage. This is Peter’s story in his own words, written on the eve of his graduation, a story that talks about him finally becoming a doctor and the price he had to pay for it.
I found Keystone to be a powerfully moving book and, indeed, somewhat of an emotional experience reading it. There is a great deal of medical terminology related to medical school courses, the process for becoming a doctor, the specialties and the rotations, etc. which give an idea of what studying to become a doctor is like. It also gives an idea about the education and healthcare system itself with its failings and inherent biases. I liked the character portrayal of Peter and his hard work and dedication, in spite of overwhelming odds. In fact, I enjoyed all of the main characters in the book and I thought their portrayal was realistic. All in all, this is a great story written extremely well and it certainly has many layers to be interpreted - I would highly recommend it.