Ah, that does make more sense. After all, only Enterprise crews are allowed to serve together until they're old and grey
The reference seems to align with the novels' assumption that George Kirk Sr was off the scene by his son's Academy days, but that Winona was still alive.
In my quick riffles so far, I've found Treklit name drops for Bryce Shumar and the Stiles family ("Starfleet Year One" *), UFP Presidents Hyram Roth (ST IV) and Ra-ghoratreii the Efrosian (ST VI). A drawing of Robert April resembles Gene Roddenberry, so there'll probably be lots of Okuda influence in the book.
There is so much information in this tome, a seamless blending of canonical material and the author's many extrapolations from canon, that future novel and comic authors would only be able to cherrypick some easter eggs when writing stories set in the period. It's sensible that Christopher
is taking his own direction.
* Ah, Shumar was originally from TNG's "Power Play".