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Spirit Baby: Travels Through China on the Long Road to Motherhood

4.59  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  37 reviews
“There’s an ancient Chinese belief that women possess two hearts; an upper heart associated with the standard Western heart, and a lower heart tied to the uterus. They say that women hold dreams of infants, lost children, and babies never-meant-to-be in their upper hearts, while babies destined to be born travel to their mother’s lower heart.

“With my lower heart as empty a
Paperback, 267 pages
Published April 19th 2019 by Illumify Media Global
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Average rating 4.59  · 
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 ·  51 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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I loved this book, “ Spirit Baby: Travels Through China on the Long Road to Motherhood”, about Nina Neilson Little’s memoir through her not so simple journey to becoming a mother. Nothing truly is ever simple and it is in those moments of self-reflection that we learn to focus on the positives and learn about ourselves no matter where we are in life’s journey. This book really resonated with me and how traveling lifts my spirits and renews my passion and resolve.

Nina Nielson Little is also a ne
Monica Devine
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Rapt from page 1, Nina takes us on a dizzying ride through the streets of ancient Chinese cities buzzing with shops, vendors, bicycles, traffic and hordes of people. Coming from a childhood of opposites, a wealthy father and hippie mother, her broken home did not stop her from finding the peace, happiness and family success she so yearned for. Chinese traditions, like placing red baby slippers under your pillow to conceive a girl, or placing nuts under your pillow to conceive a boy, Nina does no ...more
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book with a compelling story...hopeful story and a little bit of a tearjerker at times.
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-copies
Spirit Baby takes us on Nina & her husband Chris's journey through China after the heartbreak of failed fertility treatments and the ache of a childless home.

Wow! What a truly emotional yet inspiring read. Part travelogue - Part Memoir, I haven't read anything quite like this before. Though the story's main focus is based on Nina's struggle with infertility and her journey towards motherhood, it was also very much like sitting in class during a history lesson. The events were fascinating and I
James Frederick
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My wife and I both loved this book. We too struggled to have children and it was reaffirming to see so many parallels between Nina's story and our own. ...more
Laura Engel
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, Spirit Baby by Nina Neilson Little... It not only took me on an amazing journey through Nina's hardships and joys of growing up but also on a journey through China. I knew so little about China and found myself fascinated as Nina takes the reader along with her and her husband to learn about the major cities, the customs, the legends and the Chinese culture. All the while the reader is learning about the trials of infertility and the desperate lengths that women hoping to beco ...more
Elizabeth (Donnamartinreads)
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow. First of all, thank you so much to @katerocklitchick and @ninalittlebooks for including me on this tour and for my copy of this amazing book.

Spirit Baby is part memoir, part travel diary, and all heart. Nina and Chris arrive in China in crisis. They are fleeing the heartbreak of failed fertility treatments, the loss of broken dreams, and a house empty of the children they so desperately want. They come to find their baby, but they leave with so much more than they anticipated.

I have goosebu
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Spirit Baby: Travels Through China on the Long Road to Motherhood
Nina Neilson Little

Reading Spirit Baby by Nina Little has been a beautiful and unique experience. Her feelings she expressed; funny, sad and everything in between; has provided a fascinating perspective of this path in life for so many people.
What Is medically diagnosed as infertility is so often held emotionally deep within. Patients going to reproductive endocrinology centers rarely feel comfortable sharing their feelings with
Debra Slonek
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Reading this beautifully written book, I was invited to be part of a very real, vulnerable and intimate journey with the author and her husband. They navigated through the difficulties and multiple heartbreaks of infertility and also chose to take a once-in-a-lifetime trip to China.

Infertility treatments had worn them out and emptied them. As they traveled through China and gave in to the awe and wonder of the rich history and breathtaking beauty which surrounded them, a healing balm began sooth
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Nina Little @ninalittlebooks for sending me a copy of this book from across the other side of the world and for sharing this intimate part of your life through your story.
I devoured this book over a few weeks, a little bit at a time and the reason for this was because it was a memoir/travelogue and I really wanted to take in every little bit of it without rushing to get on to my next book.
Nina takes us on an emotional journey on her road to motherhood and through her heartbreaking ba
abdulia ortiz-perez
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
I received this free book from the publisher for honest review.

4 stars ⭐ ⭐⭐ ⭐

This is the first time reading from this author.

What a beautiful wonderful amazing read.

What a great read! This had me hooked from the beginning. The sitting, theme, and the Characters had me pulled so in. Everything was well put together and it was just perfect. This novel did just that to me.
Highly recommend everybody get this book and read it. Its so good!
Can't wait for next book.
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Spirit Baby ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This memoir/ travelogue was so wonderfully written. It goes through themes of longing, loss, and learning how to live again due to infertility, while celebrating the healing benefits of travel through the awe inspiring country of China.
Author @ninalittlebooks wrote so that you were right over her shoulder in her journey through China. It was very descriptive, well researched and definitely relatable. I feel as if I just traveled to China myself and experienced the busy street v
thereadingowlvina (Elvina Ulrich)
Have you ever encountered one of those moments where the book found you just at the right time, when you didn't even know you needed it? Well, Spirit Baby was one of those moments I had. Not only this was my first giveaway win, it is also my first travelogue. I was surprised just how much I enjoyed reading a travelogue! This book brought me to many stunning and beautiful places in China - Beijing, Shanghai, Guongzhou, Guilin (most probably my favourite!) and a lot more! The atmospheric and descr ...more
BreeAnn (She Just Loves Books)
What I Loved: What a beautifully written memoir! I was so drawn in as Nina told her story of her struggles with infertility and miscarriage. Written with such emotion, it was beautiful to read.

How I Felt: Spirit Baby is a memoir about Nina Neilson Little’s path to motherhood, but it is also a travel memoir of her times in China. I was absolutely drawn in to the descriptions and stories of China. Having visited China twice, reading her book made me want to go back and visit all the places I didn’
Nicole Bibliolau19
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nina Neilson Little's memoir, Spirit Baby, allows readers to accompany Nina and her husband, Chris, on a month-long journey through China. Exhausted physically, emotionally, and mentally after several years of failed fertility treatments and attempts to conceive a baby, the couple has turned to the idea of international adoption as a way to expand their family, and with the hope of one day welcoming a Chinese baby girl into their family, Nina and Chris seek to not only learn about the traditions ...more
Cindy Roesel
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
"There’s an ancient Chinese belief that women possess two hearts. It’s said that women hold dreams of infants, lost children, and babies never-meant-to-be in their upper hearts, while babies destined to be born travel to their mother’s lower heart. My upper heart was full of lost babies and broken dreams. But the promise of a Chinese baby girl was beginning to fill my upper heart with hope." SPIRIT BABY

Nina Little takes up through the ups and downs of trying to have a child in SPIRIT BABY. When
Sally Hobson
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction-shelf
Nina Little uses her personal fertility narrative along with a collective narrative of the cultural history of China to create a story that speaks to a greater overarching narrative about what it means to be a mother in a global community with conflicting views on what “true” motherhood looks like. Little creates her own definition of motherhood to claim that it is more of an experience and a figurative adventure than a state of being and no matter how difficult the path to motherhood is, it has ...more
Catherine Hamilton
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
Spirit Baby by Nina Neilson Little
Fun, witty, and emotionally packed!
“A woman who longs for a child doesn’t need a reason.”

In this part travel memoir, part journey to motherhood memoir, Little inspires the reader with majestic views of China and an intimate personal sojourn to becoming a mom.
Like the author, I am fascinated by cultural and religious traditions, and I devoured every delightful tidbit of Chinese folklore and customs inside this sweet little book!

From haggling on the streets of B
Samantha “Sam” A
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Life can take a toll…but that doesn’t mean the journey’s not worth taking.

Can I rate this book 10 stars instead of just 5? I thoroughly soaked this beautifully, intense memoir of Nina and her husbands travels through China after multiple failed attempts at IVF and conventional ways of trying to have a baby.

It hit me as I was finishing the last word that I enjoyed this because I could almost feel how she was feeling; frustrated and hopeless and wondering if having a baby would ever happen.

Not a l
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Spirit Baby is a memoir that takes us through her journey from childhood with divorced parents, meeting her husband Chris, their infertility problems and their travels through China.
Four years of trying to conceive with two failed attempts at IVF treatments left Nina depressed and longing to be a mother. Nina and Chris decided to start the adoption process for a baby girl from China.
Their descriptive travels to China to better understand the culture and religions were interesting and at times
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This not your typical memoir, it is also part travelogue and all heart. Nina Neilson Little writes about her and her husband Chris' journey through China to adopt a baby. The story is written so well with great care and detail I felt transported to China while reading it. Little's book is a great length it's a quick read at at 267 pages it's not overly wordy or drawn out she has a great flowing story style. I learned a lot about customs and beliefs of the Chinese that are quite interesting.
It al
Heather (
In this memoir, the author shares her heartbreaking experience with infertility and miscarriage and recounts her and her husband’s trip of a lifetime all over China. They were preparing to (hopefully) adopt a baby from China and wanted to learn all they could about the culture. As a result, this book is chock full of Chinese history, traditions, mythology, and many interesting tidbits about the Chinese way of life. I learned many interesting things while reading this memoir. You’ll really enjoy ...more
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Gifted to me by Nina Nelson Little.. I can not say enough positive things about this book. This book tackles unexplained infertility (something my husband and I have gone through) and the search to see how you can become parents, find peace and maybe even laugh a bit. Nina’s book is so honest, heartwarming and loving. In my opinion it is not your typical road to motherhood book, which I found so refreshing. I took my time reading this and glad I did. This was a 5 star book for me and I have reco ...more
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As I read this tender memoir, I felt as if I were reading a friend's honest journal, and as a bonus I learned so much about China and its history. After numerous attempts to have a baby, the author and her husband take off to China, where they encounter a culture full of rich dichotomies and unexpected moments of grace that allow them to heal and open their hearts again, both to each other and to hope. The gratifying ending to their journey is inspiring and sweet. ...more
Nicole reading_with_nicole
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
After reading this book I want more than ever to visit China. In Spirit Baby Nina takes on her journey through China after having issues with infertility. Chris and Nina want a family more than anything and in anticipation of maybe adopting they travel to China. This book is so detailed in their traveling that you feel like you are right there with them. I was caught up in all the amazing descriptions throughout this book. You will feel all of Nina’s pain and heartbreak and joy while reading thi ...more
Melissa (honeybee.reads)
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
First off I want to thank @ninalittle & @katerockbooktours for my copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
This is a truly heartfelt, emotional, historical roller coaster. This book is written by Nina and follows her journey through the failed fertility treatments and her journey through China which ended up saving her.
From page to page we learn so much about the Chinese culture, the history and the hardships of adopting a child in that country. This book is so easy to relate to if yo
Catherine Poe
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Through her travel and vivid descriptions I felt like I was along for the ride in this heartwarming memoir Spirit Baby- travels through China on the long road to Motherhood by Nina Neilson Little. The people, the food, the traffic, and of course the love that took them to China to search for a child. I enjoyed this story and was happy to read that when things happen unexpectantly and you take the long road, you can still end up in the right place!
Melissa Morris
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Spirit Baby follows a Colorado couple's trip through China following a heartbreaking period of failed fertility treatments and miscarriages. Beautifully written, this book is part travel and part autobiography. You'll feel like you've just visited China - and all of it's breathtaking scenery, bustling cities, and rich history. Both poignant and uplifting, anyone can identify with Nina finding her way back from a dark, disappointing journey of broken dreams and rediscovering he ...more
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Nina takes us on a journey of unexpected insights. She and her spouse Chris absorb the Chinese culture in anticipation of the adoption of a little girl. In the environment of a one-child policy, girls are often abandoned by parents in hopes of a male child.
The trek forward resolves many of the difficult and painful memories of Nina's childhood. She stood alone in multiple branches of two blended families. She understood what it meant to look different from other family members. In the telling o
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Nina Neilson Little is a newspaper reporter, turned magazine editor, turned elementary literacy specialist, turned author for adults and children. She enjoys traveling and skiing and is addicted to Zumba. She enjoys reading mainly non-fiction (biographies, travel and memoirs) but also loves magical realism and historical fiction. She lives in the foothills of Colorado with her family, two large mu ...more

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