Angie Courtney is a spirited young woman realizing her dream. She is living in a girls’ club in New York, studying fashion design. Bill Luddy, a boy she left behind in her hometown of Altoona, PA, is now stationed on a Navy ship docked on the Hudson Bay. They begin dating each other again in 1942 during his officers' training and he wins her heart through his daily love letters.
An engaging memoir for many reasons, but most compelling for me based on its power to connect generations. If you'd enjoy expanding your dialogue with a friend or family member who grew up in the 1920s to 1940s, or simply want to give them a gift that may serve as a catalyst for sharing those memories, this book is a treasure. Raleigh author Elaine Luddy Klonicki chronicles the life of her mother, Angela Courtney Luddy. Mrs. Luddy, still vibrant in her 90s, contributed much to this true story woven around the love letters Elaine's father, Bill, wrote to Angela. Their story is a fascinating reversal of the more typical scenario in which a young man leaves his loved ones behind to enter military service. Angela was first to depart their Altoona, Pa., hometown, leaving for Manhattan to pursue her dream to study fashion design. Bill's letters to Angela reveal a tender and determined man who has made up his mind that Angela is the woman for him; his exasperation because she has other... More > priorities (and suitors) is expressed with heartwarming wit. Written as Bill completed college in Pennsylvania and then was a "90-Day Wonder" in expedited Navy officer training in the Hudson Bay, the 50+ letters inspire and delight. My first tears came in the intro, as Elaine talked about how writing the book taught her about her strong mother's "softer side" and again in the first chapter, as Angela described her father's reaction to the run on the banks that launched the Great Depression. I cried as I realized I didn't know those things about my own parents. I laughed out loud more than once. "All on Account of You" is a tribute to family, faith, enduring values and commitment. It's a 1940s adventure, as the small town couple enjoys Manhattan pleasures such as Frank Sinatra and Guy Lombardo performances and then find ways to enjoy Bill's tour in Key West at a time when the area lacked most of the conveniences then available in much of the U.S. Having read an excerpt online, I bought "All on Account of You" for a dear 85-year-old friend, hoping she'd have a good time with the memories it would inspire for her and perhaps other members of her retirement community. I picked it up to flip through before delivering it to her. Turns out I couldn't put it down and finished it within a few hours, just in time to deliver it.< Less
"Review of All on Account of You" If you’re looking for a heroic tale of grand war-time adventure…or lurid confessions of clandestine romance…this is not the book for you. All on Account of You is the simply- and heartwarmingly-told story of two talented, intelligent, straightforward people who grew to love one another through mutual respect, shared spiritual and human values…and a young man’s persistence, communicated tenderly and with an open heart. At a time when young women rarely left their home communities for reasons other than marriage, Angie Courtney was adventurous enough to move nearly 300 miles from hers to study clothing design. She had several suitors, with whom she enjoyed various outings. She liked some better than others, but one of them from her home town of Altoona, Pennsylvania – Bill Luddy – was not one she considered seriously…at first. Bill had other ideas, though. He spent time with Angie whenever he could. When he couldn’t spend time with her, he... More > wrote letters to her – even when he was in the same city! Bill’s letters spoke of his convictions about what marriage meant and about the faith he and Angie shared. They spoke of his regard for Angie and of the many things he admired and respected about her. They spoke in plain words and the meaning behind them of his love, and of his continued hope that Angie would eventually relent and return that love. They sometimes included songs Bill had written for Angie, the book’s title being one of them. Together, Bill and Angie traveled to different places as a result of his military duty assignments. The key word here is “together.” No matter where they resided or what their circumstances – celebratory or sorrowful – they lived it together, for more than 50 years, until Bill’s death in 1996. One simple word, yet one so often forgotten by those whose idea of commitment is “for better or else.” Elaine Luddy Klonicki, Bill and Angie’s youngest daughter, has compiled her mother’s written and spoken memories with her father’s letters, as well as other family correspondence and photographs, to create All on Account of You. In doing so, she has opened a window not only on her family’s personal history, but also on our history as a society. It is a work we can perhaps learn from, even while it touches our hearts.< Less
"An Historical Gem" Elaine Klonicki's book is a gem of history as important and thought provoking as any academic's assessment of the time. The stories of real people and how they were able to cope with changing and challenging times provides a more realistic look into an era that many of us can relate to if we lived it, and imagine if we hadn't. It is a history and a romance novel rolled into one. Angie Luddy and her family has to be very proud.
"All on Account of You...a rich blend!" Love letters, song lyrics, different longings...in All on Account of You, Elaine Klonicki has created a rich blend! As she wrote in her introduction, "Without realizing it, by combining their stories, I did something they (her parents) have done throughout their lives..." The hook of her father's persistent romantic appeals - and humor and patient faith - and her mother's focus elsewhere - on her own NYC life and dream -pulled me in and kept me reading into the night. While written from and about a time 65 years ago, there is a compelling immediacy to their story. The many well-chosen photos, period ads and illustrations not only effectively evoke that era, but give the book an appealing and coherent "look." And, as with all good stories, this one triggered all kinds of personal associations as I read, including the reactions I had when I discovered my own parents' WWII letters.
Lulu Staff has been notified of a possible violation of the terms of our Membership Agreement. Our agents will determine if the content reported is inappropriate or not based on the guidelines provided and will then take action where needed.
Thank you for notifying us. We will email you with the results and/or actions taken as a result of the investigation if you chose to receive confirmation.