Loving Liza Jane by Sharlene MacLaren, 2007.
Loving Liza Jane is an enjoyable historical fiction novel set in Kentucky in 1895. Liza Jane is a newly-licensed school teacher who comes to Kentucky because she feels led by God to start a new adventure in life. So she says goodbye to her aunt and uncle and goes to face her future. There are many things she has to adjust to...but within a matter of days...Liza Jane has fallen in love with the place...and the people of Little Hickman Creek. Now it probably won't come as a shock to anyone that Liza Jane will meet some interesting suitors who try to win her heart. And it probably won't surprise anyone that she falls for a widower with two kids--one of whom is her favorite student in the class. But despite the fact that the book has predictable moments, it never ceases to be enjoyable. In fact, as a reader I enjoy predictable books a good bit of the time. You know what you're getting. Loving Liza Jane is a mix of Christy by Catherine Marshall and the Elizabeth series by Janette Oke.
This is the first novel in a new series--Little Hickman Creek Series. I think they will all be quite good. Why? Because the characters are so enjoyable. There really is a community cast. I'm halfway through the second in the series, Sarah my Beloved, and I'm already wishing I had a third.