16 X MOM:  A Mastery of Motherhood

Barbara Olivo Cagle

Reviewed by D. Andrew McChesney


          Dedication and devotion are keys, both to the story told and the production of this book.  Growing up without the warmth of family love, Rose Nunez Olivo marries and showers her sixteen children with devotion.  She dedicates herself to providing each of them with the love, guidance, and caring she never had.  Recognizing the transformation in her mother’s life, daughter Barbara (child number thirteen) tells Rose’s amazing story to the world.

          What emerges as a result of Barbara’s dedication is a massively complete work.  It begins with the arrival of Rose’s immigrant father, Joseph Nunez in the historic mining town of Campo Seco where he meets, falls in love with, and marries AdelaideLydia” Madriago.  When she tragically dies of tuberculosis at twenty-one, the couple already has three children.  Jacqueline Rose is the second born.  She has an older brother, Rodger, and a younger sister, Marie.

          As a single parent, Joseph “Pa Pa” struggles to keep his young family united while providing for them.  Disagreements with one of his late wife’s family, and a desperate need to see his children cared for, force him to contact Children’s Aid and place them in foster care.  Rose and Rodger go to live with Teresa Espinosa, an older lady with a perhaps shady past, whom they know as “Ma.”  The children are properly, if not generously provided for, and contribute to the household income from an early age, delivering Ma’s homemade enchiladas and tamales around their San Jose neighborhood.

          After graduating from high school, Rose marries Nello John Olivo, Sr.  She blossoms, enveloping their ever-increasing brood with all the love and care she had been denied in her childhood.

          The laminated hard cover volume is well illustrated with family photos, genealogical charts, and excerpts of Rose’s philosophies.  16 X MOM:  A MASTERY OF MOTHERHOOD is an inspirational celebration of maternal love and well worth reading.  As a gift, it is the ideal way for all to say, “Thanks, Mom!”


(This review can also be found on the Spokane Authors and Self-Publishers’ web-site at www.spokaneauthors.org)