Form and Content
Then Again, Maybe I Won’t is a short, fast-paced account of thirteen-year-old Tony’s efforts to cope with the onset of puberty and the tremendous upheavals in his world occasioned by his family’s sudden affluence. The account of Tony’s ambivalent feelings about both his changing body and his altered circumstances provides an insightful examination of the daily disruptions and contradictions inherent in adolescent life.
As the novel opens, life is good for its narrator, Tony Miglione, whose days in Jersey City are routine and predictable. Somewhat apprehensive about starting junior high and annoyed by the cranky customers on his paper route, he nevertheless believes that he can handle whatever life has to offer. His parents both work hard to support their family, which also includes Tony’s brother, Ralph, a seventh-grade teacher; Ralphs’ wife, Angie, who attends teacher’s college; and Tony’s grandmother, who lost her larynx to cancer and cannot speak. Tony idolizes Ralph, known as the “Wizard of Seventh Grade Social Studies” at the local junior high, and he admires both his brother and sister-in-law for their dedication to education. He has a loving relationship with his grandmother, who cooks for the family, and respects his father for his knowledge of electronics, even though he does not share this interest.
Angie’s unexpected pregnancy, however, precipitates a series of changes in the Miglione household....
(The entire section is 543 words.)