Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Foundling - Paul Joseph Fronczak

Truth really is stranger than fiction. The Foundling: The True Story of a Kidnapping, a Family Secret, and My Search for the Real Me by Paul Joseph Fronczak with Alex Tresniowski is one of those 'I can't believe its true', shake your head stories ......

As a child, Paul always felt a little out of step with the rest of his family. When he was ten, he found a box of newspaper clippings in the basement covering the 1964 kidnapping and (a few years later) recovery of a Baby Paul. Stunned, he asked his parents about it and was rebuffed. As an adult, Paul pursued the details and discovered fifty years later that he was in fact, not the kidnapped Fronczak baby.

Can you even begin to imagine this!? Paul embarks on a near impossible task to discover who he really is. And where could the real Paul be? The best tools in the box? Genealogy and DNA.

I was fascinated (and in awe) of the search techniques employed by both the professional and amateur genealogical sleuths that take Paul's case on. Step by step we follow along as Paul hits another dead end or finds a possible link. This was a long and almost impossible journey.  Yes, he does find answers......but perhaps not the ones he imagined when he began his search. Fronczak's search will raise question for the listener or reader. What is family? How do you define family? How important is it to know your roots? Those questions also arise for Paul - his search for his 'real' identity and family wreaks havoc with his own family and parents. I didn't agree with every decision or pronouncement Paul made, but I was fascinated by this story.

I chose to listen to this book  - the reader was Kirby Heyborne. Heyborne's voice was quite suited to the content of this book. He captured and illustrated Paul's hurt, hope, despair, incredulity and joy with his voice. His reading is well paced, well modulated and his voice is very easy to listen to.

Listen to an excerpt of The Foundling. You can find more about this story on Facebook and on Paul's website.