I have neither read the book, nor the critical article - however, the amount of time I've spent in Taiwanese Buddhism, maybe a few thoughts are relevant:
The time in which people like Ven. Sheng Yen - including Ven. Master Hsing Yun, Ven. Chen Hua, and others - came from China to Taiwan, was a particularly harsh time. Before they came on over, the whole nation had been ravished by invasion, revolution, further invasion, and then a particularly bloody civil war. When they arrived in Taiwan, they were of course absolutely broke and had nothing. Because they came with the Nationalists, who then set up martial law over the island, they were often particularly despised by the Taiwanese locals. Some of them were suspected as "Communist spies", and imprisoned for some time at the whim of the Nationalists. Buddhism was not then what it is now in Taiwan. Monasteries would usually shut their doors to these monks. Thus, as young monks with little or no monastic cred on the island, broke and rejected "from other provinces" (外省人), they had a really, really hard time. I've heard enough of these stories from the older monks here in Taiwan, they are real, not fabricated for any reasons.
And, as already noted, the book was not written by Ven. himself, in Chinese, let alone in English I believe. It only came out in Chinese after his passing away a couple of years ago, IIRC.
While I'm here: These older generation Chinese / Taiwanese teachers are the real deal. Please keep a good thought for them in your heart, as part of the Jewel of the Sangha.