"Beverly looked closer at the white starkness of her church, one of the mainstays of this community. The church had taught her strict definitions and guidelines regarding the other religions and churches. She learned early on to never question, especially when the nostrils of the family's elders began alternately pinching and flaring. The only way to tell how strongly a Methodist felt was to watch the nostrils; they gave it all away."
Beverly Canon, the main character of A Victorian Justice by Patricia C. Behnke, learns that the lessons taught in this small Michigan town of Victoria in the 1970s, have all been lies. When she begins an interracial relationship with the star basketball player, she begins to face many hypocrisies. Her father, the local undertaker and quiet drunk, embarks on an affair with his wife's sister. The basketball coach seduces high school girls. However, both of these characters judge the interracial relationship harshly.
While taking a nostalgic look back at the '70s, A Victorian Justice also remains current with its exploration of judgmental Protestant morals and preachings. This novel shows a slice of life of small town middle class values while depicting some unforgettable characters. Each one of them ends up suffering in some way from a Victorian kind of justice.