Maestra

Maestra

by L. S. Hilton

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Overview

Judith Rashleigh trabaja de secretaria en una prestigiosa casa de subastas en Londres, pero su sueño de introducirse en el mundo del arte ha ido perdiendo fuerza gradualmente debido a la corrupción y esnobismo del sector. Para salir adelante, acepta otro trabajo de camarera en un bar de mala muerte del West End, aunque el pluriempleo la deja exhausta. Un día, descubre una conspiración en la casa de subastas, y la despiden antes de que pueda exponer el fraude. Desesperada, acepta una oferta de un cliente del bar, que le pide que lo acompañe a la Riviera francesa. Tras un intento desacertado de administrar sedantes a su acompañante, con consecuencias trascendentales, Judith tendrá que darse a la fuga. Sola y en peligro, lo único que podrá hacer es confiar en su habilidad consumada para moverse con facilidad entre los ricos y famosos, y su conocimiento privilegiado del fraude en el mundo del arte —enormemente lucrativo— que provocó su despido.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399184277
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/04/2017
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 577,878
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

L. S. Hilton is the author of the New York Times and internally bestselling novel Maestra and Domina. She grew up in England and has lived in Key West, New York City, Paris, and Milan. After graduating from Oxford, she studied art history in Paris and Florence. Hilton has worked as a journalist, art critic, and broadcaster, and is presently based in London.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Maestra"
by .
Copyright © 2017 L.S. Hilton.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Reading Group Guide

1. Discuss Judith’s childhood. How does her background shape her character?
2. At one point Judith reflects that “wealth creeps under your epidermis like poison. It invades your posture, your gestures, the way you carry yourself” (p. 112). Does wealth change Judith? Would she be different if she had been born rich? How does the novel portray people born into wealth?
3. Do you like Judith? Why or why not? What surprised you the most about her character?
4. Judith is never described physically in the novel. Why do you think this is? How do you picture her?
5. In the beginning of the novel Judith reveals, “Rage had always been my friend . . . Rage had kept my back straight; rage had seen me through the fights and the slights” (p. 64). At what points in the novel does Judith turn to rage? How does rage shape Judith’s decisions? Can you relate to her frustrations? Why or why not?
6. What does Renaud’s relationship with Judith reveal about her character? Did you guess where their relationship was going?
7. Discuss the portrayal of sex in the novel. How does Judith’s sexuality inform your understanding of her character? Would you react differently to the sex scenes if Judith were a man? Why or why not?
8. Judith is a woman who decides unapologetically to own herself—her body, her desires, her ambitions. In what ways does her character challenge conventional expectations for women? How did you feel reading her transgressive behavior? Is Maestra a feminist novel?
9. Judith relates to other women in a variety of ways throughout the novel. Were you shocked by how some of those relationships develop over the course of the novel?
10. On page 160, Judith tells us, “Later, I had a lot of time to think about when I’d made the decision. Had it been swelling inside me all along, waiting, like a tumor?” Was there one moment in the novel in which you saw her character change? If so, when? If not, why?

Interviews

Sex, Murder, Shoes

Female transgression has a consistent theme in literature. From Troilus and Criseyde through Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina to London Fields, it's a constant that The Woman Always Pays. Perhaps Becky Sharpe, my favourite heroine of all, might be said to get away with breaking the rules, but then all she has to show for a lifetime's scheming at the end of Vanity Fair is a pot of rouge and the brandy bottle. When I started to write my heroine in Maestra, Judith Rashleigh, I was interested in what would happen if a woman was allowed to be bad not because she is an avenging angel a la Lisbeth Salander, not because she is bitter or traumatised, but because- well, because she can. No one ever asks James Bond about his emotions. It turned out that Judith is capable of being very bad indeed.

Maestra also addresses another key question, which is why sociopaths always have to be badly dressed. Coming from a background as an historical biographer, the novel was a joyful experience for me, and I wanted to convey some of the aspirational escapism that I had thrilled to when reading books such as Shirley Conran's Lace as a teenager. As Judith moves closer to her goals, the locations, and the clothes, become increasingly glamorous. But I dislike the gendered categorization of fiction, and my aim was also to engage male readers with its plot (it has boats, and oligarchs, and guns!). Judith might not be an ideal role model, but Maestra is very much a book about pleasure, sensual and aesthetic. I hope it will prove as much fun to read as it was to write.

Customer Reviews

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Maestra 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A friend recommended this book to me. She loved it. I thought It was just ok. Not sure if I will get the others in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read all of the book maybe the last few chapters speed things up . I'm not sure if I will buy the next couple books.
feather_lashes More than 1 year ago
★★★½ Maestra is the first installment in an untitled erotic thriller trilogy authored by L.S. Hilton (Lisa Hilton). This novel follows the female lead: Judith as she navigates her bank account, social status, and her pleasure exactly where she sees fit. She exploits her sex appeal and manipulates people and circumstances to get what she wants - she is unapologetic and I loved that. Judith is a dark, driven woman with no shame. I believe this may be exactly the [extreme] point Ms. Hilton is trying to make in Maestra – men are no longer the only cutthroat individuals who climb over rules and people in order to meet their personal goals. Women are broadcasting their determined strength and offering no apologies for being the aggressor. Ms. Hilton's storytelling, while definitely choppy, held my attention and kept me engaged. There is A LOT of brand name-dropping and the art world is heavily incorporated throughout the storyline. Although erotica is not a genre I reach for often, I enjoyed this raw component simply for the representation of women embracing their sexuality. Judith said what, when, and where...and for the exception of when she (view spoiler) (gag), I didn't have a problem with the explicit content. I plan to continue this trilogy and hope to see Judith's history and thought processes fleshed out a little more. Maestra will likely be a love it or hate it experience for most readers but if you're willing to take the risk then check it out! My favorite quote: “There's a lot to be said for being bullied as a child. After all, as every misery memoir triumphantly confirms, you're only being picked on because you're special. You become isolated but also adamantine. I had learned a particular set to my spine, a disregard for the whispered taunts, even a kind of pleasure in them, because I told myself that it made me different, and then I'd just carried on believing it. Perhaps a therapist would have confessed it out of me, but I'd never had either the money or the interest, because that knowledge of pain became, in time, a source of defiance, a source – though I was embarrassed to even think the word – of strength. I could take things that others couldn't, and that meant I could do them, too. I had done this, and the relief was glorious.”
Ratbruce More than 1 year ago
This book is so well written and the characters so fully developed that I felt let down when it ended. Great story with unexpected twists.
Robynn More than 1 year ago
This book starts off very slow and I almost gave up. Lucky for me, the middle part of the book really starts to finally energize and the character starts unfolding. Good mystery. You never see any of it coming.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I do not want to reveal too much about this intricately plotted and suspenseful offering by L.S. Hilton. I am afraid that if I delve into the plot of this great book that it will discourage you from reading it as soon as possible. The portrayal of the main character is fascinating and absorbing while revealing what it takes for a woman to make it in today’s world. I am not saying that this novel is an accurate treatise on womanhood but it does make you think. The story is crazy wild and filled with explicit material but then again so is life. My advice – Go out today and buy Maestra and block out a few days to finish, you will not need more than that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Worst book ever! Thought is was suppose to be better than 50 Shades. It was awful! Don't waste your time or effort here!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thought this was supposed to be better than Fifty Shades of Gray! It wasn't! Hope next book is better. Overall was an okay read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
. Characters with depth, quickly paced and complex without being confusing. Fantastic read.