It is New Year's Eve, and Nellie, the pretty daughter of a landowning general, is sitting in her room looking in the mirror. Although she is tired and her eyes are half closed, she is spellbound as the reflection in the looking glass dissolves into a sea of grey mist, in which she starts to discern the beloved features of her fiance. As in a diorama, the scene keeps changing, and to the early snapshots of joyful marital life succeed other, more sinister images of care, sickness and bereavement, casting a long shadow onto the girl's future. With 'The Looking Glass' Chekhov captured the very essence of the Russian soul. This short story, along with the others included in this collection, demonstrates why he is considered the absolute master of the genre.
The Looking Glass and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov