The Giving Tree is about a tree who loves a little boy. In the beginning, the love the two share is enough to make them both happy. As the boy grows older, his needs change and the tree gives him everything in order to help him achieve happiness. When the boy is gone and the tree is left with nothing, she is happy, but not really. Eventually the boy returns and the tree has nothing left to give, but the boy has changed and no longer wants anything from the tree other than the companionship they once shared, and both are happy once again.
The cost of unconditional love and letting go can be high. There is a lesson in this book and a powerful message. In the end, the love the tree had for the boy was vindicated by his return- older, wiser, and more appreciative. This is metaphor for the tree/mother or relationship and the sadness felt by the tree is the sadness every mother/relationship feels when her child/or loved one grows apart. It is every mother's/relationship's hope is that her child will return someday, wanting nothing more than to to sit together in silence and to be happy. Anyone who has ever loved someone enough to let them go will understand the painful choice highlighted in The Giving Tree.