Clea is the FINAL chapter in Lawrence Durrell‘s Alexandria Quartet [my reviews for Justine, Balthazar, and Mountolive have already been posted]. As previously stated, this quartet just gets better and more & more interconnected the further into the series you read! Clea was my ABSOLUTE favorite of the Alexandria Quartet novels!
In the ruse of returning Nessim’s illegitimate daughter to him, Darley finds himself running into his comrades in Alexandria, of whom he has been formulating a novel. Darley is welcomed with open arms and becomes enamored with his friend Clea almost instantly. They have an intensely co-dependent relationship, despite their appearances of receiving as much time along as necessary. Their summer affair comes to a tragic end with the loss of friends and the loss of innocence in Alexandria. The city becomes completely disenchanting for Darley and he finds himself growing away from his previous comforts.
A great conclusion to the quartet. Definitely not as romantic as Justine was, Clea is a much more realistic romance and novel with it’s many speculations on love and art. I can see why the series is one of the Modern Library’s Top 100 novels!