Love, war and hope feed author’s first book

Former reporter, columnist tells tale of letters written home

Diane Urbani de la Paz has published “All My Love: A Story of War and Hope,” a work of narrative nonfiction. (Phil Lusk)

Diane Urbani de la Paz has published “All My Love: A Story of War and Hope,” a work of narrative nonfiction. (Phil Lusk)

PORT TOWNSEND — Former Peninsula Daily News reporter and columnist Diane Urbani de la Paz has published “All My Love: A Story of War and Hope,” her first book.

A work of literary nonfiction, “All My Love” begins with the discovery of the letters the late Donovan Lusk wrote to his fiancée and then his wife, Anne, during World War II. He signed nearly all of these letters with “All my love, Don.”

The book follows Anne and Don’s romance and wartime marriage.

It also travels, from Urbani de la Paz’s point of view, to the places where Don served: France during General George Patton’s Lorraine Campaign, and Luxembourg during the Battle of the Bulge.

The story descends below the decks of the Queen Mary, the troop ship that carried Don and 15,000 other soldiers from New York Harbor to England in the summer of 1944.

It visits a military hospital outside Liverpool, to which Don was evacuated on New Year’s Day 1945. And it visits Percy Jones Hospital, the fortress-like facility in Battle Creek, Mich., where Anne worked and saw thousands of wounded men.

Since this book is a parallel love story, it also takes readers to Port Angeles, where Urbani de la Paz met Anne and Don’s son, Phil Lusk.

The two had their first date in 2012, married in 2014, and embarked on trips to Europe in 2017 and 2018, when they researched Don’s time at war.

They also visited the 107-year-old farm where Anne, daughter of Finnish immigrants, grew up on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan; they then traveled to Long Beach, Calif., where the Queen Mary is docked.

At age 20, Don had enlisted in the Army Specialized Training Program to become an engineer working far behind the front lines. But the Allied Forces suffered deep losses in the Normandy invasion and in France’s Lorraine. Infantry replacements were badly needed, so onto the battlefield Don went.

He witnessed some of the worst fighting of the war.

“Something kept him going: the letters he wrote to Anne,” Urbani de la Paz said.

Those letters weren’t about what he was seeing in battle. Instead, Don dreamed, in his cursive handwriting, about the future they would have together.

“This was a story I had to tell,” said Urbani de la Paz. “To me, it’s about the power of letters, love and hope in the dark.”

“All My Love” is available in paperback at Port Book and News, 104 E. First St., Port Angeles, at Imprint Bookstore, 820 Water St., Port Townsend, and from the author. To order a copy, contact either of the bookstores or email Urbani de la Paz at [email protected]


Diane Urbani de la Paz, former reporter and columnist for the Peninsula Daily News, continues to live in Port Townsend while pursuing other roles.

More in Entertainment

Music intensive aims to hit the right notes

Concerts in the Barn will host a youth Chamber Music… Continue reading

raymond carver
Peninsula College releases first season of Raymond Carver Podcast

Series includes interviews with writers, directors, actors

United Way, chambers form women’s networking group

The United Way of Clallam County, along with the… Continue reading

Pete and Crystal Damore of Ordinary Elephant will perform Wednesday.
Two duos scheduled to perform

Rainshadow Concerts next week

The North Olympic Salmon Coalition is bringing Fin, the giant salmon, Nature Bridge is bringing its portable stream and Smokey the Bear will make a special appearance at Forever Streamfest.
Environmental fair to be revived at new location

Speakers presented at StreamFest

The Eagle Mountain String Band — from left, Bob Richardson, Tim Holbrook and Bill Marlow — will perform Monday.
Eagle Mountain String Band to bring bluesy rock to Port Townsend

For those who missed its sell-out performance in February,… Continue reading

Variety of activities on tap this weekend across Olympic Peninsula

A surfing fundraiser, garden tour and anniversary of the Makah Museum are… Continue reading

Tree stumps made of cardboard and other creations by Karne Rudd are on view at the Jefferson Museum of Art & History.
Exhibit reflects effects of human activity

Mixed-media work most recent of several museum collections

Olympic Peninsula Chapter of Surfrider Foundation to host fundraiser Friday

The Olympic Peninsula Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation is… Continue reading

Most Read