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Sandy Berman, author

Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

Tommy Stern has never gotten over the suicide of his best friend, Ben Lowe, who in the summer of 1951 is found hanging from a tree in the woods behind their high school in Huntsville, Alabama. A year earlier, Huntsville becomes home to 118 former Nazi scientists and engineers who have been brought to the United States through a secret government-sponsored project called Operation Paperclip to work on the space program. Even past evidence of war crimes does not disqualify these men from entering the United States. Eighteen years later, the discovery of a journal is the catalyst that encourages Tommy to reexamine the facts that led to his friend’s death. Ben is Jewish and a survivor of the Holocaust. The journal leads Tommy to believe that there is a connection between Ben’s untimely and horrific final moments and the arrival of the Germans. Tommy’s search for the truth leads him back to Huntsville where he rekindles a relationship with his high school girlfriend Karin Angel, the daughter of one of the German scientists. Karin and Tommy join forces to discover the dark secrets of Operation Paperclip and the truth behind what happened to Ben.

Quarter Finalist

Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.75 out of 10


Plot: Whitewashed is a well-researched novel that masterfully weaves real historical circumstances with fictional events and characters, creating a compelling and captivating narrative. The book delivers a page-turning experience that propels readers through the darker side of history and feels transformative.

Prose/Style: The author delicately balances the pace of the plot, the tone of the characters, and her creative authority, creating a suspenseful reality that doesn't bog down readers with needless information or experiences.

Originality: There are minor clichés that pepper the narrative, but overall the book provides an original interpretation of plausible events. It is an appealing conspiratorial read that takes audiences into a new direction and resonates with the current conversations around race relations. Overall, this is a timely and original read.

Character/Execution: The characters provide an equal balance of ordinary and extraordinary attributes that let readers suspend their realities. There is a believable blend of hesitancy and adventure-seeking traits that work well with the narrative and provide dynamic and progressive personalities, without over-resourcing the supporting roles.

Date Submitted: August 11, 2020

Whitewashed Was Chosen for The Atlanta Jewish Book Festival

Sandy Berman will present her newest book Whitewashed via zoom at the Atlanta Jewish Book Festival on November 17 at 1:00PM.