What a wonderful, smart coming-of-age tale this novel is. The narrative follows Isidore Mazal, an eleven year old boy who lives with his parents and five siblings in France. All of his siblings are incredible smart and are working towards writing dissertations and going to university, while Isidore feels lost and doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life. After a tragedy strikes the family, Isidore observes how this affects everyone, while also discovering things about himself.
How to Behave in a Crowd is beautifully written, and even though it’s told through Isidore’s perspective, the story flows nicely and doesn’t dumb down the language or the topics that it broaches. What I loved about this novel was how eccentric the Mazal family was, and the fact that this book isn’t afraid to talk about death, sexuality, mental illnesses, etc. It always feels respectful, and Isidore’s reactions to these topics felt natural.
If I had one complaint, it would be that some secondary characters weren’t as fleshed out as I had hoped they’d be. I loved these characters, and yearned to know more about them. That’s the nature of life, though. Sometimes we discover people we find utterly fascinating, but we only get to know them for a short period of time. Camille Bordas has garnered herself a new fan.
*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.