Caught by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Caught, The Missing, Book 5 by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

I have enjoyed all of the books in this series about time-traveling children who were kidnapped from their proper places in history and given to adoptive parents in the twenty-first century, but Caught may be my favorite of all the books in the series. In this installment, Joshua and his sister Katherine go back to the early twentieth century to prevent the unraveling of Time by the unwitting interference of the super-intelligent Albert Einstein and his wife Mileva and to rectify the kidnapping of Mileva’s and Albert’s first, secret daughter, Lieserl.

The story uses the true story of a daughter that Einstein and his first wife hid because of her illegitimacy and takes that piece of historical information to create a novel that asks all of the old time travel questions and deals with the mind-bending answers in a fresh and thought-provoking way. You could start with this fifth book in the series, but I’d suggest starting at the beginning with Book 1, Found, and continuing on if you like the first one. I do think the books get better as the series progresses.

“If you’d asked me back in the time cave, back at the beginning of all this—when it began for you, I mean—I would have said that I understood time travel perfectly. . . I knew that the past was set in stone, and had to be kept that way, to prevent any paradoxes or cause-and-effect catastrophes. But I thought that the present–my present–was open and flexible and free for me to use however I wished. I thought my contemporaries and I had free will, but everyone in history was locked into . . . well, shall we call it fate?”

I’m writing this review on the day after election day in the U.S., and the above quote sounds quite prescient and analogous to my thought processes and those of many of my friends:

“If you had asked me back six months ago, I would have said that I understood God’s purposes in this election perfectly. I knew that Obama had to be defeated to prevent more abortions and the re-definition of marriage and confiscatory taxation and other evils. I thought that my vote and everyone else’s was free and we had free will, but that God would do just as I thought He should and make sure that The Good prevailed.”

J.B., a “time agent” in the Missing series, then quotes Albert Einstein:

“We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filed with books in many languages. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books, but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.”

Or as C.S. Lewis put it more succinctly, using the name “Aslan” for God, “He’s wild, you know. Not like a tame lion.”

God is working His own purposes out, and we see through a glass very dimly. I have moved from reviewing to “meddling”, but these are the thoughts I had as I read about Einstein and his wife and Time and relativity and fate and the foolishness of the most intelligent of human beings. I’m called to “try to help people” the best I can and “have fun (joy) while I still can.” Oh, and always Read Good Books. The rest is mostly beyond my capacity for understanding.

Some post-election scriptures:

“He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s; upon them he has set the world.” I Samuel 2:8

“Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.” Daniel 11:35.

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.” Daniel 2:20-22

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone–for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” I Timothy 2:1-2.

“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17.

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