Green Fire: Tommy & Ruthie’s Blues by Geoff Nelson Hill
Tommy Atherstone, last of the “Knights of Rookhurst”, isn’t quite old enough to enlist for the Great War but persuades his strangely reluctant father to - who then goes missing, pitching Tommy into No Mans Land and the Castle of Time. His stop/go affair with his feisty Anglo-Indian girlfriend Ruth Rani Westall takes place against a background of civil unrest, the Russian Revolution and new ways of thought coming back to Britain from the Empire.
Meanwhile, his adventures with the wild Loveless Brothers, the eccentric Witch of Boughton - a ‘lady with a past’ - and, finally, the Unknown Soldier, a damaged survivor of the war, are decisive in his overcoming of ‘Great Big Nothing’ and his getting of wisdom (and maybe even the girl). A philosophical novel for those who dare.