Avery’s Knot In May 1832, in Newport, Rhode Island, a Methodist minister named Ephraim K. Avery was tried for the murder of a twenty-nine-year-old mill worker, Sarah Marie Cornell. It was the first time a clergyman had ever been tried for murder in the United States and the first time an American murder trial became headline news.
From this factual base, Mary Cable weaves a chilling novel of gothic desires and conflicting classes. She creates a rich atmosphere to show New England as it was then - simple, puritanical, superstitious, and unsentimental - on the brink of emerging from the eighteenth century into an industrial and far-more-complicated age.
This dramatic, compelling story is as much about a time and place as it is about a notorious murder trial. A work of poetic intensity, Avery’s Knot is finally a classic, tragic tale of a woman caught between passion and puritanism.