Joshua, a premature baby, is delivered on a dilapidated picnic table in the picturesque Valley Falls State Park in the midst of West Virginia's obstetrical shortage and sky-rocketing malpractice crisis. The incident thrusts the state into the national limelight. While Dr. Suzanne Oakley, chairman of the Ob/Gyn department, desperately tries to solve the paramount health care problem, personal issues from her past emerge. She reaches out to her childhood friend, the governor, for some assistance in the form of tort reform only to meet resistance; the governor's husband is president of the trial lawyers association.
Dr. Oakley's colleague and nationally-recognized sex educator Manuel Alvarez-Casilla's grief stricken behavior is disruptive to the department and creates another dimension to the already complex issues. Almost Hell is a contemporary hybrid novel that intertwines factual information and accurate historical data through Dr. Oakley's geyser-like life as she attempts to solve the mountain state's medical predicament. At the same time, the catastrophes continue to mount. A genetic wake, designer babies, sexual lectures, psychotherapy sessions, Mountaineer football, and a dramatic courtroom scene contribute to the story line which takes place in wild and wonderful West Virginia.