This volume contains not just The Cossacks but two other stories. I have read the Death of Ivan Ilyich before but not Happy Ever After.
There is something that bugs me about putting away a book unfinished so the lunchtime read for today and at least tomorrow is the first of the three stories Happy Ever After. Bearing in mind this is a Russian story the title presumably is going to be a wish rather than a reality.
Three sisters orphaned by the death of their mother are thrown into the hands of th4e executor of the will and the 36 year-old takes a shine to the 17 year old middle daughter Masha. He hides his feelings and tries to convince her that he sees nothing in her but she starts to become more aware of her feelings for him and love blossoms, at least in her heart if not in the open.
She prepares her self for her birthday and a proposal but is he thinking along the same lines? She thinks so but is tragedy lurking?