The Roadrunner Cafe

One year after his father’s suicide, Carson Long feels cheated. He hates his father for leaving him and his sister, Georgie, alone. He hates him for turning his mother into a young widow who hasn’t left the house in months. And he hates his father for leaving behind his stupid tree. Four of them are planted outside the restaurant, one for each family member. That is until Carson’s mother, no longer able to stand the sight of the tree, hires a local landscaper to remove it in the middle of the night. This seemingly unremarkable act soon sets in motion of series of events in the small Colorado ski town that leaves more than just young Carson groping in the dark for answers.

The Roadrunner Café is a unique novel told from multiple points of view about loss and the lengths some will go to heal the human heart. Ultimately, it is a story about what it takes to go on living even when everything in the world might be telling us it isn’t possible to.

Warning: Contains some sex, profanity, and violence. Intended for adults and mature teens.


"A measured but ultimately uplifting meditation on family and hope in dark times."

Kirkus Reviews

"This is a bit like Hemingway, a bit like Faulkner, and uniquely Zerndt."

—The Kindle Book Review

"James Zerndt's BRAILING FOR WILE places it alongside the work of other literary "Midwestern" writers such as Kent Harruf and Richard Russo."

—Readers Favorite Awards

"If you can't stand cliches and predictability, this is the book for you, an unapologetic original."

—Sheri Meshal, author of Swallowtail and Chokecherry