Nothing but the truth

Review by Som Panha / Khmer Times No Comments Share:

Hu Jian Ming, a 17-year-old student at the Bangkok International Academy, has a problem with her English teacher, Declan Stanyer, as she got an unsatisfactory result in his subject.

Ms Hu’s parents want her to become a doctor. To achieve that, she needs to score well on the International Baccalaureate exam. Mr Stanyer offers her “extra lessons” to help her improve her grade, but not for free.

Ms Hu decides to pay Mr Stanyer for the lessons without letting her parents know about it. They have already worked hard enough to pay for the expensive cost of living in the city. She does not want them to worry about her.

However, the “extra lessons” from Mr Stanyer are worthless. In fact, Hu’s English was already good. He simply assigns her some exercises, then ignored her. When she’s finished, he asks her for his tutoring fee.

Hu feels exploited. To pay Mr Stanyer, Hu had to save her pocket and lunch money. She even had to sell a ring she had received as a gift, to cover all the fees.

She knows there is a problem with her English results, with the extra lessons …and with Mr. Stanyer, but she is unable to complain for fear of letting her parents know what happened to her.

What’s worse, Mr Stanyer tries to lure her to his place, saying it would be “more comfortable”.

The deeper Hu falls into Mr Stanyer’s trap, the harder it is to tell the truth. Will she finally have enough courage to reveal it and free herself from Mr Stanyer?

“Nothing But The Truth” offers insights into the issue of harassment among Asian youth, especially females, which is rarely discussed in the media. It demonstrates how harassment can quickly escalate, if we are too scared to confront the reality of it, or choose not to speak out about it.

The main lesson to be learned from this story is that no matter how hard the truth is to swallow, it is better to let the world know about a problem than to let history repeat itself, and not do anything to stop it.

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