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At first I thought that her mother might have left blank journals for her to fill, but if so, why tell her to not look at them until after her death? Then I thought: Some types of ink fade quickly. Did the spines creak as if they'd never been opened, or did they fall open as if the pages had been well-thumbed? Were there impressions of a pen having pressed onto the pages, or were they perfectly smooth? If her mother was a "private person," is it possible that she used a common method of invisible writing, such as lemon juice? (The way to make it visible is by gently heating the pages.) Has Ms. Williams taken the journals to be examined by an expert?