Christie Shary

Books - The Blue Mosaic Vase

The Blue Mosaic Vase

The 'coming of age' story of an impoverished Muslim boy in Turn-of-the-Century Iran and the six women who change the course of his life.

Through the sympathetic eyes of an orphan boy named Mohammad, and in the tradition of Like Water for Chocolate, The Kite Runner, and The Joy Luck Club, The Blue Mosaic Vase explores the role of women bound by thousands of years of tradition in a land where sons are prized. Left with only the beautiful blue mosaic vase, a gift he once gave his mother, Mohammad begins his quest for identity, love and belonging. And just as the fragile and intricate pieces of the vase fit together, Mohammad's 'coming of age' intertwines with the lives of these women, set against the ancient rhythms of Tehran's bazaar, the desolate mud-brick villages of turn-of-the-century Persia, the impact of Islam upon their lives.

Mohammad first explores his world in the footsteps of his mother, Pargol, victim of the bazaar's harshness and disease; next through his brother's child bride, Feredeh, bound by ancient religious tradition; by the suffering of the harlot, Leila, shackled by hunger into a life that has few options.

He experiences life within the dark, liquid eyes of his first love, Sherine, forced by the solemn promise of her father to marry another; through his wife, the beautiful Amira, driven by gold and lust for one she cannot have; from the pain of the little servant girl, Batool, imprisoned by her society and left with only one choice-to bury her disgrace in the murky waters of the jewb.

Although disillusioned by the unfairness and cruelty that reign in his world, Mohammad is determined not to give up. His journey finally leads him to the widowed village weaver, Najmeh, who brings real meaning to his life. Filled with love and compassion, yet free and unbound as the shifting desert sands that surround her mud-brick village, she answers only to herself. But will Mohammad find the strength to break the bonds that bind him? He knows he must.

Published by:
Synergy Books


“Christie writes from first-hand knowledge of the culture of Iran and it shows. This is a story of love and betrayal, of grinding poverty and thwarted success and of triumph over adversity. The book is well-written and engaging. The characters are fascinating and illuminating. If the reader has any interest at all about life in the Muslim world, this book will provide a very interesting perspective.” - Lorna Collins, Author

“Shary spins a tale of lyrical exposition, brutality and extraordinary adventure to tell the story of an impoverished orphan named Mohammad. This book is as heartfelt and poignant 'coming of age' story as they come and a splendid contribution to the literature of the period. She writes quietly, almost tenderly, about faith and the common people. The author has a gift for making the characters highly accessible. She brings Mohammad through the crises with the same tenderness that makes all of her books such a pleasure to read.” - Dr. Roger T. Coleman, Author

“I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'The Blue Mosaic Vase' and was apparently having such a good time doing it that my mother-in-law strongly hinted that I should leave the book with her. The author tells about the lives of women in Persia through the experiences of a male protagonist. Using the blue vase as a metaphor of how each woman valued and treated him was effective and touching. It was obvious that this book was well-researched and well-written. The spirit and worlds of the different social classes came through very clearly. Of course, I did leave the book behind-this one is to share.” - Marga Donahoo, The Netherlands


Fresh Voices Award - 2006
International EPPIE Award - 2003