Seventeen-year-old Bettina is missing without a trace, and the whole island of Samsø is talking about it. Is she dead? Has she run away from her foster family again? Weeks pass, and rumors spread. Jenny and her cousin Tessa talk about nothing else, and when Bettina’s boot suddenly turns up in completely the wrong place, things take a serious turn. Someone on the island knows where Bettina is. Someone who is much too close to Jenny and Tessa.

Bettina’s disappearance sets an avalanche in motion, not just in the small island community but also in Jenny’s life. What is Jenny’s mother, the tattoo artist Kissa, hiding? Can Jenny really be sure her beloved Uncle Jimmy is completely innocent? Jenny finds comfort in the ordered world of nature, but when she inherits her famous great-grandfather’s plant collection, she realizes that even nature is capricious. White Flowers is a novel about crime and revenge, tattoos, and flowers.

First published by Politikens Forlag, 2020, 510 pages.


With ‘White Flowers’, Sissel-Jo Gazan serves up a generational novel, a crime mystery, a family chronicle, a time portrait of the 1990s and an indignant sociopolitical novel in a great generous, sweeping and elegant movement. – Politiken

White Flowers is a hard-nosed piece of social realism dealing with abuse, justice and revenge. It is written with a mixture of heartfelt passion and ice-cold facts, nicely blended with Sissel-Jo Gazan’s unmistakable sense for quirky fads and colorful characters – Jyllands-Posten

In many ways, Sissel-Jo Gazan’s novel White Flowers is the politically outraged and insightful depiction of inequality in modern Denmark that I’ve been waiting for. It’s observant without hitching its characters to the bandwagon of social criticism. It doesn’t take the personal as its starting point, yet it still offers a close-up look at bad food and the bowed heads of neglected children – Information

As with Sissel-Jo Gazan’s other highly readable successes The Arc of the Swallow (2013) and The Dinosaur Feather (2008), the novel mixes science, thriller elements and social commentary into something truly remarkable in Danish literature. Few writers could interweave pedophilia and botany into a coherent narrative as successfully as Gazan – Information