• The Opposite of Butterfly Hunting

  • A powerful memoir of overcoming an eating disorder
  • By: Evanna Lynch
  • Narrated by: Evanna Lynch
  • Length: 13 hrs and 2 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Gradually, I began to feel this dawning awareness that womanhood was coming for me, that it was looming inevitably, and it didn't feel safe.... While those around me tried to expedite it, simulate it, exacerbate it, I tried to strangle it.

A raw and compelling new memoir from actress and activist Evanna Lynch about the battle between perfection and creativity. 

Evanna Lynch has long been viewed as a role model for recovering anorexics, and the story of her casting as Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films has reached almost mythic proportions. Yet even after recovery, there remains a conflict at the very core of her being: a bitter struggle between the familiar, anesthetising pursuit of perfection and the desire to fully and fearlessly embrace her creativity. In her memoir, Evanna confronts all the complexities and contradictions within herself and reveals how she overcame a life-threatening eating disorder, began to conquer her self-hate and confronted her fear of leaving the neatness and safety of girlhood for the unpredictable journey of being a woman. 

Revealing a startlingly accomplished voice, Evanna uses her book to delve into the very heart of a woman's relationship with her own body. Unwilling to let the darkness of her eating disorder eclipse her dreams, but afraid to fully release the certainty and safety of self-destruction, Evanna explores the pivotal moments and choices in her life that led her down the path of creativity and dreaming and away from the empty pursuit of perfection, and reaches towards acceptance of the wild, sensual and unpredictable reality of womanhood. This is a story of the tragedy and the glory of growing up, of mourning girlhood and stepping into the unknown and how that act of courage is the most creatively liberating thing a woman can do.

©2021 Evanna Lynch (P)2021 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

What listeners say about The Opposite of Butterfly Hunting

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A book with meaning

This is a memoir who says a lot about the author and still leaves you wanting to know more. To meet and talk to her, to debate, to get inspired. I hope Evana sees that she went from being ’the opposite of Luna’ (as she says, I don’t necessarily agree) as a child to being Luna as a grown up. I just love her and her courage!

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  • Sad Sack
  • 09-14-22

The story I didn’t know I needed

Beautifully written and beautifully told.

Spoke to me my soul.

So much of what she said and felt resonated with my own lifelong disordered eating patterns and self-loathing and was refreshingly un-triggering and none ‘preachy’.

Excellent.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-23-22

So helpful

Working with girls with eating disorders think has made me more compassionate and a little more understanding of how brutal this is.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-05-22

Life changing

Never have I been so moved by a book ! It provided the words and answers I have spent many years struggling to piece together in my own mind. Evanna does some much justice to the story so many have to painfully go through and it is so refreshing to read a book on eating disorders which explore the true pathology of the illness rather than the stats and figures and calories. All I can say is thank you, thank you for your words, kindness, humour and for sharing your story

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  • Mrs
  • 06-26-22

Hopeful

Brought to tears in the final chapter taking place in the circus classes with a new friend. Such hope and beauty.

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  • Rubycat
  • 06-20-22

A rare book of positivity

As someone deeply afflicted with anorexia myself, I was wary of reading this. Most memoirs on this horrible disease can be incredibly triggering, even those focused on pro recovery.
I was recommended this book by a therapist a while ago and after I finally took the risk to begin, I’m glad I did.
I commend Evanna for her integrity and articulation in writing this as well as her candid honesty in discussing not the symptoms of the illness itself but the deep rooted psyche, strengths and weaknesses behind the disorder.
Unlike most other books on this subject matter, I feel envy not on the depths anorexia took her to, but her strength to rise above it and fight for life without its control- a battle I am currently still fighting after 20 years of it. I will use her words as strength to keep fighting and hopefully find my own peace.
I hope this memoir could give strength to others as it has me.

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  • Rachel
  • 06-11-22

Heart felt and inspiration

A hard listen, to a profoundly emotional outpouring of one person’s journey with anorexia. Nothing but praise for the honest and personal account - thank you for writing this - I hope others may listen and learn from your experiences.

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  • Libby
  • 05-18-22

Absolutely lovely, thought-provoking book

I wasn't sure how much I was going to enjoy this, but it was compulsive listening for me. Mostly what I feared were the usual pitfalls of eating disorder stories, which as it turned out Lynch hates more than I do, and skewered with acerbic wit. This book wasn't a huge boast disguised as shame and self-loathing, and wasn't hectoring or dripping in faux sincerity and trite philosophising. It was honest, engaging, genuinely moving and startlingly funny in places, as well as quite brilliantly observed. Evanna Lynch is a curious combination of a mild, gentle demeanour that radiates empathy, an absolutely wicked gallows humour wit, and a truly deep-thinking, writer who produces unexpected moments of flawless insight. It is not necessary to have suffered an ED to find her portrait of a teenage girl painfully familiar and relatable. I just loved this.

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  • Stacey G
  • 05-15-22

Very touching and emotional

I'd heard so many good reviews about this that I really want to read it - or in this case listen to it - for myself.

I think anyone who reads this will be a fan of Evanna, and/or the Harry Potter movies so you will know who she is anyway; you may not know she suffered from anorexia nervosa and was hospitalised at the age of 11.

This was a truly heartbreaking but at the same time inspiring, and insightful, account of Evanna's journey through her becoming anorexic and her recovery, her step into the HP world; and yet so much more once she delves deeper. Not just about anorexia in itself, the mental health aspect of it, and life generally, too. The journey into womanhood which can be really difficult.

I probably wouldn't recommend reading it if you're not in a good place mentally as it can be quite tough at points; I had a bad day where I couldn't bring myself to listen to it because it was so heart wrenching.

But at the same time it's beautiful and I didn't want to stop when I was listening (I would recommend that if you can, then listen - Evanna actually recommends this herself in an article I read afterwards!).

This is one that I will remember for a long while, and I'm probably going to purchase a physical copy of it too.

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  • not telling
  • 11-13-21

Heart breaking beautiful

One of the most heartbreakingly sad, wonderfully uplifting and funny story's that I have enjoyed in a long time.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-28-22

Gripping Read

I am a big fan of Evanna and have followed her since her Harry Potter days, so I was very keen to read her book. While I have never suffered from an eating disorder, I am all too familiar with the overwhelming feelings of self loathing and the constant battle to change thought patterns. Evanna covers her experience with clarity and brutal honesty. I admire all the more now.

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  • M. Loofs Samorzewski
  • 08-25-22

An honest and easily intriguing memoir

I think I connected a lot to Evanna which is why I found this book so rewarding, while her story alone is interesting based purely on her achievements/overcomings I think her approach to this topic in honesty is what made this memoir. She didn’t present some great answer, she told her story; and with that provided many answers and lessons in itself.

My only disappointments for this book was (while number based or specific action based details when describing anorexia are not helpful; so I’m still happy she omitted these) the way that she still seemed to simplify the illness.
Everyone’s experience with it is so different but from my own and others I know I have never heard an experience of anorexia that was just as the media portrays; this lose weight/ completely revolving thinness related issue. (There are many other ways/areas anorexia affects you)
She does talk about the complexities that led into her anorexia, but I wish she had added some more details about the complexities of the illness itself.
Having said that though, she covered a lot in this book so I can’t be too tough! I found it a captivating listen.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-15-22

Oh that was awful

What a long, negative and boring book. Full of bitterness and lack of anything remotely interesting past the short account of her eating disoder. as far as a book on recovery goes it was dismal, unmotivating and unmoving. I felt like I was listening to a 13 child who was trying to use 'big' words to prove their intellect but by doing so clearly outlined their lack of emotional maturity or emotional intelligence . hard to believe this was an adult. just awful horrible

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-26-22

Captivating and healing

Evanna, this was truly incredible to listen to.

This memoir is raw and heartfelt without all the showy content that often comes with recovery content. No sugar coating (ironic phrasing) but also no dramatisation of weights and behaviours. Her discriptions of how her relationship with food also changed her relationship with family members was eye opening and truly beautiful. The description of circus classes at the end made my heart sing. Loved it!

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  • Kelsey Horne
  • 01-07-22

Thoughtful and authentic

An honest and wise account. Created to help not hinder those that suffer from this mental illlness.

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  • Ellen Crossman
  • 01-02-22

so inspiring

Absolutely incredible cannot recommend enough. I was completely captivated by evannas words and thoroughly grateful that she chose to write this book

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  • Lisa M. Stibbe
  • 12-17-21

Thank you for sharing your story Evanna!

This was a compelling story! I was unaware of Evanna's struggles, but I am a huge fan of the Harry Potter world and especially Luna Lovegood!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-06-21

I've never felt more understood

Lynch captures the decades long struggles of what it means to grow up and accept yourself (or hopefully one day cherish it). She was able to describe feelings that I have not been able to acknowledge for too many years. I'm recommending this book for anyone who has struggled with self care, knows someone who has, or even anyone wanting to further understand perspectives of those around them.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-28-21

Captivating corners of an impressionable mind

Not normally much of a consumer of non-fiction, thanks to my admiration of Evanna as an actor, activist, and all around human, I thought to give this a go as my first full audiobook ever after she mentioned that it was best heard, not read.
Every spare minute I had, I excitedly flicked back over to Audible to take in Evanna's soothing voice, deeply moving story, and, simply, gripping way with words.
This book is for anyone struggling with the idea of perfection in their daily lives, or witnessing someone struggling with it themselves. In other words, it's for everyone. Bravo.