4 star


The Man Who Loved Too Much

Archipelago #1

By John Rachel

ISBN# 9781312583887

Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra

Some Spoilers


This is the story of Billy Green. When he was just turning four, his father tried to throw him in the trash. He was a smart kid but that just seemed to create enemies.

His mom did everything to protect him. But this was Detroit, armpit of the wasteland! Catholic school didn’t help much, except the time he got his first kiss from an atheist nun. Home life was dismal. Was his father capable of anything but drinking beer and farting? And what was with that neighbor who made puppets and tried to molest Billy? Golly! Detroit was sucking the life out of him. At such a young age!

Then adolescence swirled around him. Like water in a toilet bowl. High school was a B movie. Only without a plot. So finally he did something about it. Billy ran away… to college. Cornell University. That was a good move for sure! He studied hard, lost his virginity, met the love of his life. Things were definitely looking up! What could possibly go wrong? Isn’t that what we always ask?


The Man Who Loved Too Much is an intriguing, captivating coming of age story.  I was engaged from the very beginning pages as a result of Mr. Rachel’s writing style, which was very fluid and easy to read.

A rollercoaster, that is how I can describe the life of Billy portrayed throughout the book.  But really, what child isn’t exposed to life in a myriad of ways?  Getting thrown into a trash can at age four by his father is a bit unusual, but not unheard of.  However, this certainly set the tone of his relationship with his father.  Billy has neither respect nor love for the man but truly adores his mother (Irene).  Billy’s mother does all that she can to see that Billy has all the advantages that she can muster.  Hence, the catholic school from grade one through six.  Nothing but the best for her bright boy.  Too funny when asked in the 3rd grade what he wants to be when he grows up by Sister Grace

“I really think I want to be a nun.”

And the uproar then ensues is classic Billy.  🙂  The relationship that developed between Billy and Sister Mary Felicia was gripping.  She has such depth as well as some unusual discoveries given her vocation….a surprise really.

Mr. Rogers! Hmmmm…not sure I like this character using this particular name…sullying the name and all.  Once I got past that…..Wow.  I was so glad Billy was able to get away from and past this gentlemen’s despicable behavior.  Another dimension to Billy…not that he needed this particular life experience.

Throughout the story, the hatred for Billy’s dad seems to grow.  Revelations throughout definitely clarify the relationship.  And the way that Harold (Billy’s father) was SO disengaged, from early childhood was upsetting.  However, as the tale continues at least some disclosures provide reasoning and explanations as to Harold’s behavior.  Still, he could have been such a better father to his son!!!

Now it was never in doubt from kindergarten on that Billy would do well in school.  I loved his dedication to getting away from his family and his drive to study hard.  But all studying and focus can (and did) make Billy a bit naïve as to the ways of college girls.  What a birthday present!  Interesting, funny and lucky for Billy, the introduction of him to his future love interest (and lucky in other ways….but you will read about it yourself).    The love story in college is heartwarming.  I loved the way that Natalie and Billy slowly and cautiously danced their dance of romance.  It was VERY engaging….and true to Billy’s nature.

I will wait with baited breath for the next installment as I must continue on with Billy’s journey!  It was that engaging.  What will happen with Billy and Natalie?  What does the future hold for Irene?  And what about Harold?  Or the members of the birthday crew (Kristin, Angie, Erin, Julianne and Tanya)?  And how does Billy navigate life after college?

Thank you, Mr. Rachel, for penning such a delightful read.

*OBS would like to thank the author for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*