I love books that really give you a sense of place and time, and take their time to layer in the details while still pulling you through the plot.
'Buying Time' oozes the lives of people living in Belfast over the last 50 years - their hopes, their dreams, their loves, their defeats and their deaths.
Even at the beginning of the book, as Benny Brannigan first walks the streets of Belfast, you recognise his accidental connectedness to characters who will be fleshed out later in the book.
While this is not a Romance in the classic escapist fairytale sense, romance and relationships are central to the story - how the different characters fare in love, how those relationships progress, and how they sometimes end in tragedy or loss.
This is a very moving book, one that you feel you are living yourself, surrounded by characters in the main trying to live decent lives amid people they care for and people who care for them.
Janice Donnelly clearly cares for her characters and is sharply insightful into their situations and personalities.
And when you finish it, it actually feels like you have just read an epic of great importance but without any sense of self-importance.
I defy you to read this without letting it embed itself firmly under your skin.
If I had to choose only two words to describe it, I would pick 'empathetic' and 'true', and I would certainly urge you to read it.