Without A Paddle follows a young Native American man, Paulie, living in "Maryville" in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, as he struggles to find his roots and his "place in the world." He transitions from teenager to husband, father, employee, traveler while he listens and learns from experiences at home in Maryville, then the world, drawing on his instincts when danger threatens. It is the story of his search of identity, meaning, and balance with both his Western and Native values. His young wife, Luvenia and their infant son figure prominently as he tries to do the right thing for them. In Book Three, familiar characters return having a place in Paulie's story: Dan Walkin from Book One, Beth Morrison from Book Two, and Big Man all have a part in Paulie's growth.