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The Foundling Audiobook

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

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Publisher's Summary

The 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 50-year-old mysteries at once. Along the way he upturned the genealogy industry, unearthed his family's deepest secrets, and broke open the second longest cold case in US history, all in a desperate bid to find out who he really is.

In 1964 a woman pretending to be a nurse kidnapped an infant boy named Paul Fronczak from a Chicago hospital.

Two years later police found a boy abandoned outside a variety store in New Jersey. The FBI tracked down Dora Fronczak, the kidnapped infant's mother, and she identified the abandoned boy as her son. The family spent the next 50 years believing they were whole again - but Paul was always unsure about his true identity.

Then, four years ago - spurred on by the birth of his first child, Emma Faith - Paul took a DNA test. The test revealed definitively that he was not Paul Fronczak. From that moment on, Paul has been on a tireless mission to find the man whose life he's been living - and to discover who abandoned him and why.

This is the story of Paul's heart-wrenching and tortuous journey to solve both mysteries and finally learn the truth about his identity.

The Foundling is a touching and inspiring story about a child lost and faith found, about the permanence of families and the bloodlines that define you, and about the emotional toll of both losing your identity and rediscovering who you truly are.

©2017 Paul Joseph Fronczak and Alex Tresniowski (P)2017 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (91 )
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  •  
    Gillian Austin, TX, United States 04-16-17
    Gillian Austin, TX, United States 04-16-17 Member Since 2017

    SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dream Teams Chasing A Nightmare"

    I can't even begin to imagine what it's like to live the life of Paul Joseph Fronczak. From feeling like "The Other" in a family he discovered not to be his own, to finding the nightmare of his real family roots, this is a story of deep and dark secrets, of choices made in unthinkable circumstances. It's a story of people who devoted themselves to his cause, veritable Dream Teams in genealogy, crackers of code, people hunters extraordinaire.
    It's a fairly non-stop listen, and Fronczak is a driven man whose story is sure to haunt and inspire. My only problem is that he, in his search/obsession, starts abandoning his own family, leaving his daughter to feel perhaps as unattached as he once felt.
    His findings shed light on his ability to distance and detach without emotion, but one has to ask: How much is heredity, how much is environment, and how much is personal choice? Still, it's a darkly compelling story, still unraveling, still evolving.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 04-20-17
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 04-20-17 Member Since 2008

    Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I Was Totally Engulfed By This True Story"

    Some of my most intense interests are genealogy, the search for one's ancestors, and the after effects of the adoption process and its varying effects on people. This book seemed right up my alley and once I learned of it, I grabbed it and started listening immediately.

    The author has an unusual and totally unique story to tell. He was kidnapped from a hospital as a newborn, then later abandoned in front of a store, and subsequently returned to his parents. Or is this what really happened? He certainly never felt he fit in to his family. In middle age, he could no longer stand to wonder about who he was, why he behaved as he did, and did he really belong to these parents?

    Paul Fronczak subsequently embarked on a long journey to find out the truths he had pondered much of his life. It was a three year journey that all but consumed him. It put his relationship with his parents and his marriage in jeopardy, in addition to his relationship with his beloved young daughter.

    Join him in his book, feel the ups and downs, the sheer horror and excitement at what he learned, things he never dreamed of or even speculated on. From my own personal experience, once you open yourself up to learning your family's deep dark buried secrets, it is a trip from which you cannot turn back. It can be filled with incredibly amazing breakthroughs but also with disbelief and utter disappointment or even horror at the behaviors of those very ancestors you are so keen to learn about. Whether it is good or bad news, it is always eye-opening and can be very exciting.

    Kirby Heyborne gave a great narration. He 'became' the author. He was wonderful.

    I felt swallowed up by Paul Fronczak's story, his almost fanatical search for the truth of his existence, his tenacity, and his reactions to what he learned. I finished the book in two days. It is still playing in my mind in such a way that I am not ready to even contemplate my next read yet.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    OUChris Dallas 04-04-17
    OUChris Dallas 04-04-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Prepare yourself for a journey that will take you to shocking places!"

    Warning: You won't get past chapter 1 without being hooked and pulled into this man's unexpected journey. Just know ahead of time that once you start listening, the next 11 hours of your life will be spent with Kirby Heyborne in your ear (narrating this so masterfully) because you will not be able to stop listening.

    If you love a good mystery, if you love journalistic writing, if you love true crime, if you love genealogy or history, if you love twists and turns and if you love saying "what the f*ck" out loud in disbelief/horror, you will love this book.

    It's an unbelievable story from start to finish. Paul's continual honesty about his shortcomings and fragility and the brutally raw truth about dark questions surrounding his genetics ground this book. I have yet to rate a book on Audible and I've been an avid listener for 2 years. I have never felt *this* compelled to rate/review a book.

    Giving credit where credit is due! Paul, Alex and Kirby hit this one out of the park!




    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lynn 04-27-17
    lynn 04-27-17
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    "A must read"

    great book so riveting I couldn't stop listening a must read very powerful and well written

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    COJoebro Olympia, WA 05-19-17
    COJoebro Olympia, WA 05-19-17 Member Since 2013
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    "The Universal Questions about Identity Many Face, Distilled by an Extreme Individual Example"

    Worth reading. The truth outs and then we reckon. It is possible to be compelled to know, afraid to learn, very hurt and willing to go forward.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Candace TEXARKANA, TX, United States 05-13-17
    Candace TEXARKANA, TX, United States 05-13-17 Member Since 2013
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    "Couldn't put it down"

    Such a good book. I got immersed in it!! Now I just wanna know what happened to her. I hope one day you find out. Good luck

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    CJ45 05-12-17
    CJ45 05-12-17 Member Since 2012

    Over 70 in body, still 18 in spirit. I'd rather read than watch television. I find it's even more enjoyable w/audible added.

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    "What a life!!"

    I couldn't stop listening! I stayed up until almost 2 a.m. listening to this book. It was the most fascinating real life story I had ever heard. My heart goes out to both these families. I can't even begin to imagine the pain and heartbreak of having someone walk away with my new born baby. How do you ever get over that! Further how do you leave your baby in a stroller and walk off forever from him? How many people walked past him in the two hours he was there outside a store? If this doesn't pique your interest I don't know what will. But this book will leave you as unsatisfied in the end as it leaves Paul/Jack.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Amazon Customer 05-10-17 Member Since 2017
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    "I devoured it!"

    Incredible story, so well written and well read. I was right there with the author the entire time, he takes you into his story and it's beautifully told.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    E.M. Michigan 05-05-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Intellectually stimulating; a fascinating story!"

    One of the best books I've ever read. Captivating from the start, and you can't imagine the journey of twists and turns that the story will take. This book proves what they say: Truth is better than fiction. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Terry Mahoney 05-05-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Excellent presentation"

    Although Paul found many answers, his quest wasn't without challenges. I appreciated his insights and found his journey fascinating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • MarionC
    5/11/17
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    "a lost family"

    as a family historian, i realise the difficulties and frustrations of brick walls. the researchers involved did a fabulous job. at times the story was a little long winded but kept me listening

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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