Book Cover: The Civilized World

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About The Civilized World

Selected by O, The Oprah Magazine as “A Book to Watch For

Winner of The Maria Thomas Fiction Award

A glorious literary debut set in Africa that follows five women—two of them haunted by a shared tragedy—as their lives intersect in unexpected and sometimes explosive ways. When Adjoa leaves Ghana to find work in the Ivory Coast, she hopes that one day she’ll return home to open a beauty parlor. Her dream comes true, though not before she suffers a devastating loss that also deeply affects Janice, an American aid worker. But the Precious Brother Salon isn’t just the “cleanest, friendliest, and most welcoming in the city.” It’s also where clients catch up on gossip; where Comfort, an imperious busybody, can complain about her American daughter-in-law; and where Adjoa can get a fresh start on life—or so she thinks, until Janice moves to Ghana and unexpectedly stumbles upon the salon.

At once deeply moving and utterly charming, The Civilized World follows five unforgettable women as they discover what it means to need forgiveness—and what it means to forgive.