The Gift of the Magi and Other Stories Review
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The worst thing about this book of short stories is it’s almost impossible to pick a favorite. The title story, "The Gift of the Magi," is probably O. Henry’s most well known story. It’s about a young couple that can’t afford to buy each other a Christmas present. They both give up their dearest possessions to get the money to buy something. Then, just like the other stories in this book, there’s a twist at the end.

This is one of the things O. Henry stories have in common. Something unexpected happens at the end, and it will usually tug on the reader’s heartstrings and show the reader what true human nature is all about. The other thing the stories have in common is that the main characters are all ordinary men and women. Some are down on their luck. Most are trying to be someone they’re not—or trying to turn into the person they want to be.

A couple of my favorite stories in this book are “Springtime a la Carte” and “The Last Leaf.” In "Springtime a la Carte," Sarah types daily menus for a local restaurant while she agonizes over the fact she hasn’t heard from her fiancé. “The Last Leaf” is about a woman named Johnsy who's sick with pneumonia and is waiting for the last leaf to fall off a vine before she dies.

I can’t share the endings to these stories, which are the best parts. You’ll have to get the book yourself to find out.

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