Gotta be honest with you. I loved the cover of this book (it's gorgeous), but the title threw me. That Inevitable Victorian Thing told me there would probably be corsets and hats but I had no idea what the book might be like. But I really enjoyed other books by E.K. Johnston. The Story of Owen was about fighting dragons in Canada and had me cheering. Star Wars: Ahsoka made be remember why I loves Star Wars in the first place. A Thousand Nights is a cool take on the story of Scheherazade. (You should read all those books too!)
To summarize; That Inevitable Victorian Thing takes place in a alt-history where the British Empire didn’t try to colonize the world and call all native peoples unenlightened savages and force them to emulate Britain. Instead, Queen Victoria had her children marry into powerful families in other countries and cultures to cement ties to the Empire without wiping out local culture and customs. In the generations after Victoria having diverse genes becomes a really big deal and many powerful people have a background from multiple countries. A church run computer helps people find a spouse that they are genetically compatible with and encourages genetic diversity. That’s the basic premise.
In this world we have Helena, August, and Crown Princess Margaret. Helena and Margaret are both about to have their debut (i.e. they will now be viewed as adults and not children and can get married). Margaret will have to pick a politically advantageous husband in anticipation of becoming Queen. Helena and August are looking forward to getting married to each other. A trick of fate throws Helena and August into Margaret’s path, and all three begin to question what they want and what it means to find a good match. (And in case you’re wondering if the book is good, I finished it in two days. It’s a lot of fun . :)
If you've been looking for a diverse (LGBTQ friendly) Victorian-era scifi, then look no more! It's witty and funny with some biting societal commentary. There’s also a lot about secrets: how they help and hurt us, and why we keep them when we know they have to come out eventually. It also has drama and humor, but at the heart it’s a feel-good book. Be prepared to fall in love with the characters and cheer them on.