What Came Next follows another memoir, Valley of the Shadow, by Sybil Skakle, The first concerns the death of her husband of thirty-three years. This memoir tells of her search for another love to replace one lost. Her story includes two love stories. Caught in the values and beliefs of her youth and Bible morality, her values collide with the new culture. She marries Sir Charles. After five years, Sir Charles leaves the marriage, and she seeks Cowpoke as a confidant. She had never met him person to person, but after she and Charles are separated for ten months, she visits Cowpoke for surprises.
Torn between two human loves and God’s love, she seeks to do the impossible, to solve the problem without hurting anyone or compromising her beliefs. The author learned much by writing the memoir.
After her divorce, Skakle cannot decide to remain single and pursue her writing career or to marry Cowpoke, who is dying. When she does marry him, they take a trip to Hawaii. His oncologist had advised him, “Do what you’ve always wanted to do.” The trip was cut short by his illness.
The defense of right to the land, left by her father to his heirs, continues over the ten years and beyond. As a paralegal for her side, Skakle engages the history of the land that goes as far back as 1711–1712 to the original land grants of Hatteras Banks.