The problem with "X's Y" storylines are that there are already 2 plots to plot the book by. X's as well as well as Y's. The author can slip/slide between the two and do half the work instead of having to focus on a fully realised one. And this novel falls for the chronological structure, which render it dull and colourless and reads badly like a memoir (even if it is fiction) and plods along like a history textbook with dates as subtitles for chapters. There are so much narration that the dialogues appears lost in the chunk of text and adds nothing to the novel at all'.
The characters feel like waxed figurines sprouting dialogues when you push the button in front of the display. An editor or 2 should have re-worked the novel and told the author firmly "Missy, sweetheart, you are not writing a history book, not on my watch"