MERIDEN — In 2018, Yarimell Castro moved from Puerto Rico to Meriden in what she thought would be a year-long adventure to heal from some traumatic experiences.
She fell in love with the city, stayed there and decided to share her difficulties through the book in Spanish “Viviré para Conocerte”, which means “I will live to know you”.
Castro released the book in May and held a launch event last week at the Augusta Curtis Cultural Center. During the event, Castro sang and talked about the book. His children also commented.
Castro said feedback on the book has been positive so far. Some told him they got hooked on the first chapter and others said his story brought them to tears.
The book is a novel based on his life, Castro said. Castro is a Spanish teacher with a passion for writing and literature. She was inspired to write the book in 2015 after her ex-husband was involved in an accident.
“The crash was treated as a fatal scene, they thought he didn’t survive,” she said.
Castro said her ex-husband survived after six weeks in a coma. She began writing about the pain and frustrations she went through as she was raising five children on her own and dealing with her recovery. When Castro’s husband’s health improved, he decided to end their marriage and left their home. The decision caused Castro’s depression.
In 2018, Castro and her children moved from Puerto Rico to Meriden with the intention of staying here for a year to heal. In 2020, Castro decided to record two worship songs she wrote and traveled to Puerto Rico to promote them. While in Puerto Rico, people said her personal story was good enough for a book, which prompted her to write the novel.
In her novel, she talks about Meriden and the Meriden Green Bridge.
“It impressed me when I came here and fell in love with it,” she said.
During her first days in Meriden, she took a picture on the bridge to represent freedom and a new beginning. Despite the difficulties, and with the help and prayers of many people, Castro and her children were able to heal, forgive and thrive, she said.
“I wanted to write down everything that happened to us so that we wouldn’t forget,” Castro said. “I never thought I could make a novel out of it.”
She said her life in the United States has been better than she expected. She is currently a teacher at Hall Neighborhood House in Bridgeport, which offers youth services, seniors programs, family services and a health center. Castro, who grew up in a Christian home, said her faith played a big part in her story and her healing process. Its goal is to inspire hope, especially those going through traumatic events who have no desire to continue living or don’t know how to get out of a situation.
Castro is in the middle of a media tour to promote the book. She participated in virtual interviews with publications in Puerto Rico, Peru, Honduras, Argentina, Spain and the United States. Castro has more songs that she eventually plans to record and release. In addition, she wants to write children’s literature.
Ivis Abella, who lives in Puerto Rico, met Castro two years ago. Abella remembers reading Castro’s book. “I couldn’t let go,” she said.
Abella said the book really touched her because it was so descriptive. Abella is proud to see that the situations that destroyed Castro’s life are now a blessing to people who have read the book.