Star Crossed by Bette Isacoff


“Highly recommended” – Midwest Book Review


Her parents said, “You’re marrying a seventeen-year-old Jewish high school student, a boy?”

His parents said, “You’re in love with a twenty-one-year-old Catholic senior in college, a woman?”

And then the fun begins . . . .

The year is 1968, when this sort of thing just isn’t done.

But it’s almost as if these two are drawn to each other by a series of unlikely circumstances beyond their control. Is it God, Fate with a sense of humor, or mere coincidence?

The young, mixed-faith couple faces hardships, mishaps, and triumphs during their two year courtship at a time when such love was exotic and forbidden.

Richard and Bette manage to keep their unlikely romance hidden through clandestine post office boxes, dates in out-of-the-way places, a housemother who looks the other way, and a loyal roommate sworn to keep their secret. But that secret comes out in the worst possible way, when their engagement announcement appears in the local paper a week early . . . before Richard has worked up the nerve to tell his family.

The two confront outraged parents, scornful siblings, snickering friends, legal obstacles, and uncooperative clergy.

How do you stay true to yourself and honor the one you love when your upbringing, your entire history is pulling you another way?

A story of triumph to inspire anyone involved in a relationship—traditional or not—Star Crossed is a touching memoir of humor, heartbreak, and hope.

Star Crossed by Bette Isacoff (press release)



Star Crossed is a gentle but moving book, an innocent yet powerful portrait of two people from different worlds. They are people we love, coming together against all odds. It is a book that captures a time, fearful parents and loving ones, and the youthful, wise optimism that endures. A true love story. We rejoice.”
—Patricia MacLachlan, author, playwright. National Endowment for the Humanities medal recipient and Newbery Medal award winner for Sarah, Plain and Tall

“Today, when roughly 45% of all U.S. marriages are interfaith, few Americans encounter as severe an ordeal to love as Bette and Richard did, yet stories like theirs deserve to be remembered, as testimony to the long, hard road toward tolerance. Insightful, relevant, at times witty, and always absorbing, Star Crossed is highly recommended.” —Midwest Book Review

“Right from the start, I could tell I was in for a good time. This memoir has everything — it’s an edge-of-your-seat love story, a cautionary tale about parenting, and a wonderfully detailed portrait of an era. Bette is a skilled writer who deftly pulls you in and engages you, from her triumph as a worm dissection-ist at age 10, to her heartache as she confronts a prejudiced and unyielding prospective father-in-law. You’ll be up ‘til the wee hours, I promise, wondering what happens next! Moving, heartbreaking, joyous, I was sorry to see it end. You’ll love it!” Tom Dudzick, playwright, Greetings!Over the Tavern

“…love against the odds is a story that’s pretty irresistible, and Isacoff’s evident passion for her husband is charming, if not enviable. It’s no surprise that the comment she hears most of all is ‘I wish I had a husband like that.’” —Rural Intelligence

“This [memoir] was delightful . . .The book succeeds on several levels . . . The chapters are short, readable, entertaining and even cliff-hanging. The writing is so vivid and thoughtful that I felt I was watching a movie for which the set and costume designers would win awards, not to mention the actors . . . .” —Lauren Zinn, Zinnhouse Blog

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