The Foundling: The True Story of a Kidnapping, a Family Secret, and My Search for the Real Me by Paul Fronczak

The Foundling: The True Story of a Kidnapping, a Family Secret, and My Search for the Real Me

“A gripping tale of secrets and self-discovery.” —PeopleThe Foundling tells the incredible and inspiring true story of Paul Fronczak, a man who recently discovered via a DNA test that he was not who he thought he was—and set out to solve two fifty-year-old mysteries at once. Along the way he upturned the genealogy industry, unearthed his family’s deepest secrets, and broke...

Title:The Foundling: The True Story of a Kidnapping, a Family Secret, and My Search for the Real Me
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1501142127
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:368 pages

The Foundling: The True Story of a Kidnapping, a Family Secret, and My Search for the Real Me Reviews

  • Jeanne
    Apr 28, 2017

    A well written, page turner about a real life mystery. The story was surprising on every level.

  • Peggy
    Mar 23, 2017

    Well written! I had a hard time putting it down. I read at the dinner table even. Mystery, intrigue, genealogy and all true. Highly recommend.

  • Donna
    Apr 21, 2017

    This is an autobiography that also encompasses true crime. A new born babe (a boy) went missing in the hospital back in the early 60's. Two years later, a boy who is just barely a toddler, is abandoned in front of a store. Since DNA tests weren't around, the FBI studied the ears of this boy and the ears from a photo of the baby stolen 2 years earlier. They then gave the toddler to the family who had their baby stolen in the hospital. Well decades later, he learns he is not their biological son.

    This is an autobiography that also encompasses true crime. A new born babe (a boy) went missing in the hospital back in the early 60's. Two years later, a boy who is just barely a toddler, is abandoned in front of a store. Since DNA tests weren't around, the FBI studied the ears of this boy and the ears from a photo of the baby stolen 2 years earlier. They then gave the toddler to the family who had their baby stolen in the hospital. Well decades later, he learns he is not their biological son.

    I found the genealogy portion of this quite fascinating because that is one my own favorite hobbies. There were more than a few times where the mom in me wanted to smack this guy on the back of the head for many reasons, but for the most part, Paul Fronczak had such a compelling story to tell. He discovers his family and the depths of the dysfunction within it. I truly hope he can find peace and contentment.

  • Candi Hadley
    Apr 27, 2017

    I was fascinated by this book! I usually have a harder time reading nonfiction, but I couldn't put this down. I couldn't wait to find out the things Paul found in his search!

    While the writing seemed a little unorganized and all over the place at times, especially early on, the anticipation kept me reading. The story is so unbelievable, it's like one of those that has to be true, because you just can't make it up.

  • Antigone
    May 17, 2017

    It's holiday time and the house is empty. Ten-year-old Paul Fronczak, mischievous lad that he is, sets off to hunt down the family's cache of hidden Christmas presents. He runs down to the basement and pulls an old gray sofa from the wall in order to reach a wooden door leading to a crawlspace. He rifles through the items in storage there until he comes across a couple of old shoeboxes filled to the brim with newspaper clippings. The headlines scream:

    A newborn child had been taken f

    It's holiday time and the house is empty. Ten-year-old Paul Fronczak, mischievous lad that he is, sets off to hunt down the family's cache of hidden Christmas presents. He runs down to the basement and pulls an old gray sofa from the wall in order to reach a wooden door leading to a crawlspace. He rifles through the items in storage there until he comes across a couple of old shoeboxes filled to the brim with newspaper clippings. The headlines scream:

    A newborn child had been taken from a Chicago hospital. Law enforcement mobilized; a search ensued. And, as it turns out, that child was him.

    Or was it?

    Two years after the kidnapping, a toddler is found abandoned outside a department store in Newark, New Jersey. Absent access to DNA testing and footprint or fingerprint records, the best the authorities can do is make an educated guess. This boy, they say, is young Paul Fronczak. To Chicago he is flown, reunited, raised. And no one talks about it. Even after being confronted with those holiday shoebox findings, no one's willing to tell Paul very much of anything. And so it goes for years and years. And for years and years he accepts this. Right up until the birth of his child. The bond he feels upon holding her is, he becomes convinced, the bond he's been denied all his life...and another sort of hunt begins.

    This is the kind of story upon which the genre of True Crime was built. It's got all the tabloid enticements. Vile transgression, primal fear, human pathos and a mystery to solve - the ingredients are here. And in the hands of a seasoned journalist this would have made an excellent tale. But we're not in the hands of a seasoned journalist. We're in the hands of the foundling.

    I would like to say Paul Fronczak let his hunger for the truth get the best of him, but in retrospect I think hunger is all this soul has ever known. And it's that grasping, self-entitled sort of hunger that doesn't give a damn who it hurts or how it gets its needs met, just so long as it does. As a reader I was clearly meant to identify with this untethered man and his desperate desire to establish the state of ancestral connection most of us take for granted. Instead I found my sympathies turning toward all those unsuspecting folk he and his crew of dedicated genealogists would contact out of the blue and provide with DNA kits - banking, in the same way this book does, on the evocative nature of the crime to coerce their interest and cooperation.

    It's a harsh quest, and a sad one, and disturbingly id-compelled. And I suppose I can understand how this came to be so...but it doesn't make the reading any more pleasant.

  • Dem
    Jun 01, 2017

    An engaging and touching true story about a man trying to find the answers to to questions about his identity and his struggle to understand the past and to accept the answers he was given.

    This is the story of Paul Fronczak who after 50 years learns through a DNA test that he is not who he thought he was and the road to discovery is no longer available to him through regular means but through the amazing advances in DNA testing. In 1964 a woman pretending to be a nurse kidnapped and infant boy

    An engaging and touching true story about a man trying to find the answers to to questions about his identity and his struggle to understand the past and to accept the answers he was given.

    This is the story of Paul Fronczak who after 50 years learns through a DNA test that he is not who he thought he was and the road to discovery is no longer available to him through regular means but through the amazing advances in DNA testing. In 1964 a woman pretending to be a nurse kidnapped and infant boy named Paul Fronczak from a Chicago hospital, two years later police found a boy abandoned outside a a New Jersey store, the kidnapped infant's mother identifies him as her missing son and so Paul rejoins his family and only years later does he begin to suspect that all is not what it seems and his long search for the truth begins.

    This is a very interesting story about families and belonging and what it is like for someone living on the outside of a family and knowing they don't belong and the struggle to find their identity. I also have an interest in Genealogy as I have done quite a lot of research into my own family history as there was a mystery going way back that needed unravelling but this was just a hobby for me and noting on the scare of Paul's case but I was amazed at the twist and turns and drawbacks that he had to endure.

    While the book is well written there were times I got a little bogged down in the names and research and some of the story became a little bit repetitive and yet I understand that Paul needed to document his journey and all the names of people and places that became part of the research.

    Having said that I was rooting for Paul all the way and wanted to see where is journey took him and would the answers change his life.

    An interesting story That kept me turning the pages.

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