The Evolution of Thomas Hall
"The Evolution of Thomas Hall is a visual journey that will lift your heart and invite you to view the miracles of the Savior in a way you haven't before. The magic of this book comes in its ability to inspire you to become the person you were always meant to be."
—Emily Freeman, bestselling author
Thomas Hall is an artist with astonishing talent - and a vainglorious sense of self. Since his days as a child prodigy he has reveled in recognition and believed in his inevitable destiny. Chosen. Entitled. He presumes his artistic brilliance deserves a lavish life of independence, fast cars and drop-dead gorgeous women. Thomas Hall wants it all and more.
Destiny has other plans. When "Cass," the woman from the Healing Place, walks into his life, nothing can ever be the same again.
Thomas finds himself faced with a challenge he could never have imagined, suspended between the snarling beasts of his fanciful imagination that belie the existence of God and the undaunted faith of a little girls named Christina. What he discovers about the child's harrowing escape from death - and the impossibility of what happened at the bottom of the cliff - brings him face-to-face with the most frightening question of his life.
Award-winning filmmaker Kieth Merrill writes a cinematic story of one man's journey in search of his soul that introduces us to a fascinating cast of characters and takes us to a place we've never been. And all of it with imagery that unspools like a movie in our our minds.
By Charissa, Submitted on 2015-07-26
Thomas Hall is a famous commercial artist who has a bad case of entitlement. Life has been easy for him, molding him into an arrogant, brash snob. When Susan Cassidy (Cass) talks his agent into accepting a job to paint a mural in the Healing Wing of a Christian hospital, Thomas tells his agent flat out No. He doesn’t have time to waste doing menial art revolving around a God he doesn’t believe exists. As his Science museum job changes directors, he finds himself working for a man who is anti-God and promoting Darwinism as his god and the destruction of all religion on one side…to needing to accept the hospital mural job to make ends meet when life dishes out some hefty hits by a two-by-four. As desperation pushes him to forsake his cowardly agnosticism and choose a side, Thomas journeys to the cusp of despair to find meaning beyond death and the answer to the question that gnaws at him constantly…is there a God.
This book was incredible. The beautifully flowing prose overwhelmed me with so many emotions. Thomas came to life on the pages. He’s probably one of my favorite characters I’ve ever read about. I loved the art theme in this book. The author did an amazing job of making me ‘see’ what Thomas was creating…and it did my heart well. I can’t give this book enough praise. The writing was spectacular, the characters had amazing depth, the story moved along steadily and I was hooked; and the message touched my heart. This book had everything I love and will definitely go on my favorites shelf.
By Scott, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I love this book! It is masterfully written. It is joyful and heart warming. I could not put it down and I could not recommend it more strongly. I would like to thank the author for such a beautiful gift.
By Melissa, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I loved this book! (Admittedly, disappointed with the language which was needless in my opinion.) Kieth Merrill has an incredible talent for painting a picture with his writing. The chapters are written as virtual scene changes which made the book ever so hard to put down.
The author did a superb job developing Thomas Hall's character along with the other characters in the book. This book will leave you thinking about it for a long time!
By Susan, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I agree with a previous reviewer about the language in this book and others sold by Deseret Book. I was very disappointed in this book. As a whole the storyline was okay, if not predictable. However, it seemed to drag with excessive description. Not only that, but the book had a rather large number of mild swear words.
By Nicole, Submitted on 2015-02-25
The Evolution of Thomas Hall is a thought-provoking look at one man's journal back to God. The scenes were vibrant and rich. The prose were smart. It is a book I would recommend over and over.
By Teresa & Les , Submitted on 2015-02-25
I absolutely loved this book! It so easy to see everything that Mr. Merrill was describing. Mr. Merrill made you feel what Thomas Hall was feeling as he was going through his transformation. I knew from the first page that I would enjoy this book. This book was so hard to put down. It would be great to see this book made into a movie! I highly recommend this book to others. I hope that Mr. Merrill gives us more books to read.
By Angie, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I loved reading this book and watching the growth of Thomas Hall as he came to know the Savior. I was surprised at the beginning at how well Merrill described the accident Christina survived miraculously. I couldn't wait to see how it played into the rest of the book.All of the characters were so vivid I couldn't put it down until I was finished! Hope it becomes a movie!
By Connie, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Speaking of Thomas'mural, Miss Von Horn said, "It is the divine confirmation or your own inspiration. This is what the Lord wanted you to do. He gave you your talent so you could honor him and that is what you've done. Thank you for having the courage to believe beyond your doubts." I loved the message of this one paragraph! It summed up the whole book for me. We are all in a process of evolution...this book inspires me to get past those doubts. Beautifully written!
By Courtney, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I enjoyed this book greatly! The conflict of the main character kept me captivated and interested in finding out how he dealt with issues in his life. It helps you realize what is most important in life and really enjoy the small and wonderful things. Great book and an awesome summer read!
By Shauna, Submitted on 2015-02-25
As a few have already mentioned, there is a little language that I too wished I didn't have to read. At a recent meeting with Sheri Dew she told us that if they had made the character "squeaky clean" from the beginning then the transformation/evolution would not have been as dramatic. Understanding that, I enjoyed the book so much more. My favorite part is as the artist is painting miracles that Christ performed he starts to see those same miracles all around him in everyday life. I highly recommend this book!
By Lori , Submitted on 2015-02-25
I did not want to read this book at first because I knew it had some language in it. I understand that it was put in there to show the kind of life Thomas was living and showing how great his transformation was. He went from a very arrogant person to a humble and submissive man. We are all need to make changes in our life in some way and we all need the Savior in our life to make it. After the first few chapters you will really get into the book.
By Derek, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Although the first few chapters were hard to get through, persistence paid off. As I read through the literal evolution of the Thomas Hall, I found myself relating to attributes of Hall. The dynamic characters attributes were also very relatable and thought-provoking. The deeper I read, I found myself evolving into a character, compelled to become a better person and renew my perspective on life. A must read for everyone!
By Lorna, Submitted on 2015-02-25
While the storyline was interesting, it took me about 150 pages to really get into the book. The author tended to be too detailed and verbose, which made it hard to wade through. I did like the ending, even though it was a little cheesy.
By Suzanne, Submitted on 2015-02-25
An incredible journey of discovery as Thomas Hall changes from self-absorbed and thoughtless, to a man concerned with God and others. The short chapters kept it interesting and I wanted to keep reading….just one more. Keith Merrill’s style of writing paints for the reader a descriptive journey. I kept thinking….I hope he makes this into a movie so I can really see what the murals look like. He does a fantastic job of getting the reader emotionally involved in the characters.
By Connie, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Keith Merrill has written an amazing journey of developig Faith. The main character, Thomas Hall, is a recognized artist who is pulled between worldly beliefs of Evolution and the creation of man by God. As a reader, you are a part of Thomas Hall's journey that taps his inner soul of who he really is. I loved thMerrill captured in words the "change of heart" that takes place. The book is funny,m insightful, tender and
By Susan, Submitted on 2015-02-25
It took me a lot longer to get into this book then I thought it would. However, the story of Christine woven into the healing wall was very inspirational.
By Cindy, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Thomas Hall is an arrogant, self absorbed, extremely talented artist (we're talking Micheangelo) who has taken his God-given gift for granted, not only failing to acknowledge from whence it came, but failing to realize that where much is given much is required. He has a huge sense of entitlement that is in conflict with any seed of humility that might be lying dormant. But as we know, the Lord is in control, and occasionally He sees fit to compel us to be humble for His greater purposes. And so begins the evolution of Thomas Hall, from the brilliant but 'cowardly agnostic' artist, to a believing man of faith who replaces his need to be worshipped FOR his art, to using his talent to worship THROUGH his art. A Big Difference indeed.
At the beginning of the book, you don't like anything about him, although you have to admit he is brilliant, but by the end of the book you'd like him to marry your daughter! The transition / evolution - is not one that is easy, and it is scripted with enough complexity that one never has the idea that it is contrived or convenient.
The story is told so beautifully that I could not restrain myself from marking some choice paragraphs and phrases. I have a lot of admiration and respect for an author who can stir my heart so much - with 'words'. That is a talent - no less inspiring than the talent Thomas Hall possessed as a visual artist.
By Gayle, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I really liked this book. It grabbed me from the first page and kept me reading. I must admit that I cried a lot while reading the last few chapters. It was easy to see how Thomas changed, or evolved, as he became familiar with the stories of Jesus, and was around real Christ-like people. People can have a change of heart, and this is the story of one who did.
By Dana, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I read the first couple of chapters and really didn't like it. As I continued to read it, it was truly inspiring. I really enjoyed how it showed that things happen for a reason and the path is there if we will listen with our hearts to the still small voice inside us. It was interesting to see how we really need to be compassionate, humble, and non-judgemental. Everyone has something to offer and they can help change our lives.
By Martin & Stephannee, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Kieth Merrill paints the picture of a skillful, but self-absorbed artist, whose life is turned upside down before being lifted up.
It's a story that anyone should be able to relate to. It's a journey of self-discovery as Thomas Hall works through personal struggles and doubts before slowly realizing what he truly believes and what's most important. Just as we all have to do in our way, Thomas has to discover his own testimony of Jesus Christ. Fortunately, he develops relationships with people along the way that guide and influence him -- not by bashing him over the head with religion, but by simply living and remining true to what they believe.
Written in rich, descriptive language, the story remains readable and entertaining, thought-provoking and emotional. It might start out a bit slow as the reader gets used to the descriptiveness, but begins to suck you in until the last sentence is finished.
If you enjoy inspiring & uplifting stories, then you'll enjoy this one. Thank you, Mr. Merrill for reminding us of our own conversions, and what's most important to us all.