Since 2016, many stories have celebrated feminine ferocity and decrying patriarchal societies. In that regard, Extasia by Claire Legrand is no different. What sets Ms. Legrand’s version apart is that it feels much rawer and angrier than those books that came before hers, and I am here for it.
Ms. Legrand never fails to impress me with her writing. Her words are so evocative, and her novels are almost always atmospheric. She knows how to blend fantasy, realism, and horror to create something unique. In Extasia, she creates something that is much a horror story as a warning about the rising conservatism plaguing our country these days.
Extasia is a difficult story to read. What Amity and her sisters face and the ideology behind Haven are, quite frankly, disgusting. Plus, there is so much anger coursing through the story, coming from all sides. All of this makes Extasia less an escapist read and more one that serves as a cautionary tale or wake-up call for those paying attention to what is happening in the world right now.
After reading several of Ms. Legrand’s novels now, it feels as if writing is a form of therapy for her. Her stories are always dark and full of complex topics. It is as if she pours out her fears and worries onto paper as a coping mechanism. However, her novels almost always have an element of hope to lighten the darkness. This hope serves as a balm against all of the bad. Thus, if Extasia is a warning against the shift to extreme conservatism, it is also a reminder that the light always returns no matter how dark the night is.