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A Perfect Day

I couldn’t tell you my first wrong step. I’m not sure that I could tell you what I’d do differently. My mind is a queue of questions. Most of them are about the stranger. Why did the stranger come to me? Why did he speak of hope when my future, or what’s left of it, looks as barren as the winter landscape? Some might think that my story begins with the stranger. But in truth, it began long before I met him, back on a balmy June day eight years ago when Allyson, not yet my wife, went home to Oregon to see her father. This is strangely ironic to me because it all began on a perfect day. And here it ends on the worst of days.

I should say begins to end. Because if the stranger is right—and I’ve learned that he’s always right—I have just six more days to live.


Robert Harlan has three loves in his life: his wife, Allyson, his daughter, Carson, and his writing. As a sales rep for a small radio station, he has hopes of one day leaving it all behind for a successful writing career. When he is unexpectedly laid off from his job, Allyson encourages him to pursue his dream of writing. He writes a novel entitled “A Perfect Day”, based on the last few months Allyson and her father spent together as he died of cancer. The story becomes a huge success and Robert finds himself swept into a new world far from his wife and home. In time Robert loses track of the things he loves most until he meets a stranger who begins telling him intimate details about his past, his present and, most important, the brevity of his future. Thinking that he has just weeks to live, Robert begins to discover the truth about himself; who he has become, what he has lost and what it will take to find love again.

ISBN: 0525947655
Published September 29, 2003
E.P. Dutton

“The inevitable twist is clever, the writing throughout assured, the sentiment unapologetic and the author confident that he knows just what his readers want and that he’s the man to give it to them.” – Publisher’s Weekly

The author of The Christmas Box (1994) offers up another sweet tale about the importance of love and family… Evans draws from his own knowledge of being catapulted into best-sellerdom in this moving tale of a man who finds success and then discovers that other things in his life may be more important.” – Booklist

A Perfect Day is my wife’s least favorite of all my books, not because she thinks it’s a bad story, but because she felt I had shared too much of our own story with my readers.

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