Constance, or Solitary Practices is the central volume of the five novels of Lawrence Durrell's The Avignon Quintet, published from 1974 to 1985. It was nominated for the Booker Prize in 1982. Involving some of the characters from the preceding Livia, the novel also introduces new ones. It is set before and during World War II, in France, Egypt, Poland and Switzerland.
The novel is set in the period from the outbreak of World War II in 1939 with the Nazi invasion of Poland, to the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944. Its settings include Avignon, France; Geneva, Switzerland; Poland, and Egypt.
The first chapter continues in Avignon, where the previous novel, Livia, was set. It details Constance's blossoming relationship with her husband Sam. As the clouds of war loom, a group of Europeans is breaking up whose last summer together was explored in Livia. Novelist Aubrey Blanford takes a post in Egypt, kindly offered to him by Prince Hassad. During a visit t