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

“With pathos, heart, and a compelling narrative, Bette Isacoff’s debut memoir stands as a testament to a simple yet complex time in the life of interfaith couples. Isacoff’s story enables the reader to journey back to a sixties time capsule, depicting a world of less understanding and more barriers between people of faith. This poignant story of marriage and obstacles overcome teaches us not only about how far our faiths have journeyed, but also about how much further we still must travel together. Star Crossed is a must-read for all those who are contemplating interfaith marriage, as well as those engaged in the work of congregational welcome.” Andi Rosenthal, author of The Bookseller’s Sonnets

“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

“This lovely and utterly romantic story will touch you, even if you’re a closeted romantic disguised as a cynic. It gets to the bare essence of what a truly loving relationship should be: a rare and mysterious gift to be treasured above anything else in the world.”
Matt Morillo, playwright/screenwriter. Author of All Aboard the Marriage Hearse and Angry Young Women In Low Rise Jeans With High Class Issues

“Last night I was in bed with my wife, but instead of watching TV I read 120 pages of Bette’s book. As I read about her falling in love with Richard, I was falling in love with her. Although I have another 80 pages to go (and would read 300 more if she wrote them), I do not have to complete the book to declare that it is wonderful.”
Michael N, Marcus, author, publisher, blogger

“Her repressed Catholic upbringing and unfeeling family and his self-involved rejecting Jewish family — only the miracle of finding each other could have rescued them from such dysfunctional (as we now call it) backgrounds. I couldn’t put down the book. We root for them, we respect them and get to feel for them deeply. This book would appeal to romantics, suspense lovers, social historians, psychologists and all partners in a ‘mixed’ marriage. She writes with humor and understanding and complete honesty – a rare experience. Old enough to have witnessed the time in which she came of age I can attest to the accuracy with which she describes the culture and the battles she had to fight. I’m passing it on to my children and grandchildren. They will love it.” Ilse Browner, Lenox Library

“Bette Isacoff’s narrative thoroughly engaged me. Her story of growing up in the sixties so much parallels my own. We both understood a critical and stifling smother-mother, still being innocent and virginal at age twenty-one, and embarking on an intermarriage in spite of non-supportive and hostile parents. I totally resonate with this story of undying love. And, I am in awe of the strength and perseverance it took to live true to her feelings and convictions in spite of such suffocation and rejection. Mrs. Isacoff is a true inspiration for women of all ages.”Madeline Sharples, author of Leaving the Hall Light On: A Mother’s Memoir of Living with Her Son’s Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide.

“Thank you for the opportunity to enjoy Star Crossed, a “page turner” which I actually could not put down! This story of a strong relationship, grounded in “true love,” as the author expresses it, also reveals beautiful affirmation in her fiancé’s fidelity and loyalty despite the many hardships during their courtship period. Clearly, the deep spiritual platform upon which this memoir rests is its most compelling feature. Congratulations to Bette and to Richard for sharing this journey.” Dr. Julia McNamara, President, Albertus Magnus College

“This is a good story. It’s a delight to see these two unlikely lovers hold their own against the pack of nay-sayers they encounter. This book makes you believe that love can
triumph.” Charles Rafferty, author of Appetites and Director of the MFA Program at Albertus Magnus College

“While taking breaks from my snow shoveling, I read this book. I knew it would be good, but I did not expect it would be soooooo good! It’s wonderful! If they traded books on the New York Stock Exchange, I would buy 100 shares of Star Crossed!” Robert Hubbard, Director of Computer Information Systems at Albertus Magnus College

“In this intimate tale, Isacoff describes the very often real emotional reactions of families when individuals of different faiths decide to create a life together. Her memoir poignantly points out where non-progressive religious authorities can fail their constituents, rather than broaden the tent of acceptance. Those of us touched by inter-marriage will no doubt find her words compelling.” Rabbi Philip “Flip” Rice of Congregation Micah in Nashville, TN.

“Isacoff has now provided a harsh-but-real view of what interfaith courtship in a different era, when families were disapproving and interfaith worshiping communities weren’t yet established. Despite a four-year age gap, disapproving families, and a circus of events leading up to their nuptials, Bette and Richard embarked on an interfaith marriage, pioneering the way of future generations of blended families.” J. Dana Trent, author of Saffron Cross

There are few memoir writers that can articulate their story in such a way as to draw the reader in and make them part of the experience, especially memoirs of relationships. In Star Crossed, Bette Isacoff has managed to do just that. A voice that resonates with the reader, no matter what their background may be, is a rare commodity. Despite the fact that many writers have an interesting story to tell, not all are worth reading from the reader’s perspective. In the beginning of Star Crossed, one wonders how two individuals from such disparate beginnings are going to make it work. But Isacoff shows that sometimes, two people who meet and know they are meant to be together can overcome the challenges. I was captivated by the story of these two quiet and reserved individuals, and I felt deeply their commitment to one another. Star Crossed is a treat for any fan of the memoir, or anyone looking to see faith and commitment glorified, rather than bitterness and heartbreak. Kelly J. Wright, Chapters Bookstore, Inc., Pittsfield, MA


Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 5.26.34 PMInterview with Bette and Richard Isacoff,” The Foundation for Religious Diplomacy, 2015 (Youtube)

Reviewed in the Mindquest Review of Books by Lightword Publishing, Summer 2014.
“This exceptional book…unveils the elements essential to a successful, loving relationship while providing direction, honed by [the author’s] personal experiences for overcoming obstacles and prejudices.” 

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Reviewed in the Dog Writer’s Association of America’s ruff DRAFTS, Spring 2014




Unknown-1Star Crossed Love Story at the Mason Library, ” The Berkshire Record, May 12, 2014



In Bette Isacoff’s Memoir ‘Star Crossed,’ An Unlikely Pair Beats the Odds.” Lisa Green, Rural Intelligence.  “…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.’”


Star Crossed by Bette Isacoff, Midwest Book Review,  April 2014. “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.”

Unknown-2Book Review: Local Tale of Love, Culture,” Emily Banner, The Berkshire Eagle“The secret to her transformation from doormat to confident woman? Love, of course….Isacoff gives us fascinating glimpses of New England in the ‘60s, cities like Springfield and New Haven, Conn., sketched as melting pots in which nothing really melted. [Isacoff] stays focused on romance — and, embedded in that, a coming-of-age tale….It’s inspiring to read…”

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Star Crossed,” by Lauren Zinn, Zinnhouse Blog | Jewish-Interfaith in Ann Arbor, 3. 9.14. “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 . . . .”

Unknown-1 “Can the Interfaith Family Overcome Jesus?” Shmuel Rosner, Jewish Journal, 1.21.14



How to Survive an Impossible Mixed-Faith Marriage”



Let’s Talk, WSBS, Jesse Stewart interviews Bette Isacoff, 12.5.13