"The Author is a friend, and she was kind enough to allow me to read the manuscript before it was published. It is a rich documentation of a most romantic time. I know because I was there. It was a time when every experience was heightened and shadowed by war. Music underlined every moment of our lives. Some of it was military music as we marched off to duty in Europe or Japan, but most of it was romantic. ‘A Kiss is Just a Kiss.’ ‘Till We Meet Again.’ ‘I'll See You in my Dreams.’
And it is through music that Bill Luddy courts and wins his Angie. It was not only a romantic time, but this is a romantic love story. It is also a true story. It grows between two people who have known each other for a long time, and it is compellingly told by Angie’s daughter, as her mother looks back on letters, poems, songs and personal recollections to document the realization that a lonely Navy guy and a student in New York City were meant for each other.
There is humor here, and fun, as well as an interesting insight to a remarkable historical period in our country. And what might surprise some younger readers - that some of us old fogies who lived through those distant times were just as passionate and reckless and headstrong and foolish as many youngsters are today. When I first read the manuscript, I predicted 'a lively sale,' and I am happy to say my prediction is already coming true."
—EARL HAMNER, Feb. 2007
(author, and creator of The Waltons and Falcon Crest TV shows)
“I really enjoyed this one. Great combination of romance, history and biography. Well written and a pleasure to read. Would make a great book club discussion.“
—KASIA SWEENEY, Feb. 2007
“This book is such a joy to read and so interesting, the way that the author wove together the love letters & historical references along with the narrative from her mother's perspective. The pictures & graphics in the book really enhance the story, and I am sure it would make a great movie along the lines of The Notebook. I recommend it to the young, not so young, and the ‘greatest generation’ as well.”
—SARA JONES, March 2007
“This nostalgic biographical memoir is a must-read, especially for those who lived during the war. Its impressive letters will take you back to the days when courtship and love were to be honored and praised.”
—ANITA STONE, March 2007
“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.”
—LINDA BICKEL, March 2007
“Elaine Klonicki's All on Account of You: A True WWII Love Story is a beautiful and stirring account of the love story between the author's mother (Angie Courtney) and father (Bill Luddy), set against the backdrop of World War II. Much of the story is told through the adoring love letters of Bill, a man I came to greatly admire during my reading, if for no other reason than he was a selfless man with unbridled devotion for those he loved.
Of course, Bill loved no one more than Angie, who is introduced as a fanciful and engaging young woman, striking out for a budding career in New York. Had I not known that Bill wins her in the end, I would have considered him a long shot as the eventual victor of Angie's heart. Ultimately, I believe it was his letters - and the devotion behind them - that did it. Each of them is a treasure unto itself.
The prose in this book is beautiful. And the author weaves the story with skill, separating the letters with accounts and descriptions from her surviving mother, with many of those descriptions providing a fascinating perspective on life during that period.
I must confess, I felt a certain wistfulness that is hard to explain as I read this book, but I believe I have identified its source: the author has immortalized her father and her mother. They will live on - many, many years - kept alive through these words. For anyone who has lost a parent, this book will strike a chord, not to mention those who are simply drawn to the story of a young man deeply in love and who, in the end, wins the girl.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book. There is something for everyone to enjoy with this story. My only regret is that I haven't in some way captured the story of my own parents, but at least someone has now shown me how.”
—BUDDY HOWARD, April 2007
“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 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.“
—DARA WARNER, May 2007
“I started reading All on Account of You: A True WWII Love Story and could not put it down. It was fascinating. The author did a great job of capturing her parents' humor and sadness and just plain life together with their children. It was interesting and fun to read!
I loved the letters, the pictures, and the feel of it. It is truly about a family and lets the reader have some amazing insights into the thought process of Angie Luddy, the author's mother, since it is written in the first person singular. It is very touching in places, and very stern in places, and overall an excellent narrative of an American family growing up with hope and dreams and elations and heartbreaks. Quite well done. The author has a gift for this kind of writing.”