Area Bird

Duty doesn't always follow the rules (Gray Girl Book 2)

Fiction - Realistic
261 Pages
Reviewed on 06/05/2019
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

Susan I. Spieth is a 1985 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. She served five years in the Army before attending seminary and becoming ordained in the United Methodist Church. For more information, go to or
The Gray Girl Series depicts authentic experiences of the early years when the United States Military Academy first admitted women cadets. Jan Wishart is both heroine and troublemaker. She and her friends sometimes create their own dilemmas but mostly solve the larger issues they face while at West Point. Gray Girl: Honor Isn’t Always Black and White is the first book in the Gray Girl Series. For more information, go to or

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Area Bird is a work of military fiction based on real events, penned by author Susan I Spieth. This coming of age novel is the second in the Gray Girl series, following the experiences of women cadets in the 1980s when the US Military Academy first began to admit them. We follow Jan Wishart as her fellow female cadets start dropping out of the academy all around her, and Jan becomes determined to find out why before she too falls victim to whatever is causing the problem. When the issue turns out to be all over West Point, Jan is determined to reveal the brutal sexism taking place for all the world to see.

Social issues, realism, and military life come together in this fascinating slice of life work by author Susan I Spieth. The narration of Jan’s experiences is packed with realistic details from West Point Academy, recreated perfectly from the author’s own personal experiences, and yet Jan is very much her own character and the narrative stays true to her rather than becoming too much of a memoir. The plot is filled with characters who reveal the most horrible aspects of human nature and the gender divide, but there are rays of hope and moments of triumph that peek through the struggle, giving the novel its raw emotional quality and high readability. Overall, Area Bird is an important work in the history of women’s fiction, but it’s also an engaging, dramatic read and part of an inspirational series.


I have enjoyed all the books in the series. I am eagerly awaiting the next!