Debeljak's memoir covers vast territory, both emotionally and geographically. Beginning in New York in 1993, the book quickly migrates, along with the author, to Slovenia, in the midst of its transformation from a republic of the violently disintegrating Yugoslavia to an independent nation state. Among the many challenges facing her include learning a complicated language, an apartment not much larger than a New York closet, a dying communist bureaucracy, folk remedies, and sexism. Yet she grows to love her quirky and quickly modernizing new home. Set against the backdrop of the Yugoslav wars of succession, Forbidden Bread is the engaging story of an American woman coming to grips with life in a rapidly changing European landscape.